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Pollution & Your Health: A Closer Look

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

Did you know that toxins can be present everywhere? Right from the air we breathe in, the food we eat, to the water we drink. The good news is that our bodies are naturally equipped – the liver – with the power to flush away the toxins. The bad news is that the 21st-century lifestyle is bombarding our bodies with harmful substances that may overpower the liver and cause a health breakdown. An increase in air, water and soil pollution can have adverse effects on our health.

How does pollution affect our health?

Dust, smoke and other environmental pollutants can put us at risk of one or more health issues. Air pollution can lead to symptoms like cold, cough, bronchitis, respiratory problems, eye irritation, skin allergy and more. 

Blood Toxic Element Profile Test – Why You Must Go For it! - PharmEasy

Water and soil pollution can increase the levels of toxins in blood that may present as body pain, weakness, bone and joint problems and more. 

Now, let’s take a look at some of the elements that may act as toxins if ingested or inhaled in excess. Your doctor may advise you blood tests to check for the impact of pollution or toxins on your body-

1. Aluminium

This is the most widely prevalent metal on earth. We use aluminium utensils for cooking. Particles of the metal come loose, mingle with your food and then enter your body. A high level of aluminium in your body could:

  • Cause Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Diminish your kidney function.  
  • Affect your lungs.
  • Reduce bone density.
  • Lower your body’s capacity to absorb iron.

I routinely recommend toxic elements profile to my patients once a year. It is as important as the general health checkups.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD

2. Cadmium

You may come in contact with cadmium if you smoke (actively or passively), use nickel-cadmium batteries or if you are a welder. Cadmium may be present in contaminated foods and water.

Cadmium is harmful because it:

  • Causes extensive tissue damage.
  • Doesn’t allow your kidneys to metabolize vitamin D.
  • Triggers osteoporosis.
  • Affects your cardiovascular health.

3. Chromium

Chromium is present in stainless steel- something that is widely used to make cooking utensils. Chromium can leach into your foods and build up in your body. It can:

  • Cause cancer.
  • Damage your lungs.
  • Cause skin disorders.

4. Cobalt

Cobalt is used in batteries and to add colour to glass and ceramic wares. Cobalt can also be present in utensils that are meant to withstand high temperatures. So, if you are using such utensils or coloured glass bottles, you could inadvertently be consuming cobalt. Too much cobalt can:

  • Cause cardiomyopathy (heart is unable to pump blood efficiently).
  • Trigger problems in the endocrine gland.

5. Lead

Lead may enter your drinking water if it travels through water pipes that contain lead. This can happen to people who live in old buildings with very old plumbing. You could also inhale particles of lead if you opt for lead-based paint. Lead can cause problems like:

  • Anaemia
  • Kidney damage
  • Birth defects in babies
  • Brain damage      

6. Mercury

Mercury usually enters your body when you consume fish containing mercury, a rising health menace today. Excess mercury in your body can cause:

  • Hearing and vision loss.
  • The decline of cognitive abilities.
  • Memory loss.          

If you experience frequent episodes of diarrhoea, constipation, vomiting, allergies to certain foods or frequent intestinal disorders, you should test for Toxic elements as it may rule out multiple causes for your illness and help diagnose the exact underlying cause.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj, M.B.B.S., M.D.

7. Selenium

Selenium is used to add colour to ceramic ware as well as for preparing paints. If you use coloured ceramic utensils or if the paint on your walls contains this element, then you may experience:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain              

8. Barium

This element is used in paints and printing paper. In small amounts, it cannot harm you. But prolonged exposure can:

  • Raise blood pressure.
  • Lead to stomach pain.
  • Cause brain damage.
  • Trigger kidney and liver disorders.

Pollution Impact – Advanced

All these elements may be building up in your body without your knowledge. Today’s lifestyle makes the accumulation of toxins very likely. Talk to your doctor if you experience any symptoms that result from pollution. Tests like Pollution Impact – Advanced package analyse your blood and look for the presence of 22 toxic elements, including the 8 we discussed above. Different organ systems are also tested in the same package to help doctors assess the health impact of any toxins.  

Some of these elements, such as chromium (important for making you more receptive to insulin), cobalt (helps in absorption of vitamin B12 and production of red blood cells) and selenium (enhances fertility and cognitive abilities) in small amounts are necessary to boost your health. This test will also detect if there is a shortage or imbalance of these elements.

The package comes with a total of 91 tests, including the elements, and can help you get an overall idea about your current health.

Also Read: Selenium Benefits: A Comprehensive Overview Backed by Research

What can you do to avoid the build-up of toxins?

  • Avoid smoking.  
  • Ditch stainless steel and aluminium utensils and opt for copper or earthen wares instead.
  • If you are using glass or ceramic, use colourless or white variants.
  • Be careful while handling batteries.
  • If you are welding, use protective gear.
  • Eat organic, freshly grown fruits and vegetables.
  • Be careful about the fish you consume; enquire if it contains mercury.
  • Get your drinking water analyzed for any excess of heavy metals

Toxins can wreak destruction upon your health and they might be accumulating in your body as we speak. Before they get the better of you, you may speak to a doctor and undergo this test to protect your health.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

Links and product recommendations in the information provided here are advertisements of third-party products available on the website. PharmEasy does not make any representation on the accuracy or suitability of such products/services. Advertisements do not influence the editorial decisions or content. The information in this blog is subject to change without notice. The authors and administrators reserve the right to modify, add, or remove content without notification. It is your responsibility to review this disclaimer regularly for any changes.


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