chemical Class


Chemicals in the class:

Antimony, Arsenic (inorganic only), Arsenic, total, Barium, Beryllium, Cadmium, Cesium, Chromium, Cobalt, Lead, Mercury, inorganic, Mercury, total, Methylmercury, Molybdenum, Platinum, Thallium, Tungsten, Uranium

Found in these people:

Suzie Canales, Jean Salone, Jennifer Hill-Kelley, Dr. Beverly Wright, Vivian Chang, Adult B, Adult #108, Andrea Martin, Bill Moyers, Davis Baltz, Lucy Waletsky, Michael Lerner, Sharyle Patton, Lexi Rome, Monique Harden, Charlotte Brody, Cord Blood Sample 11, Cord Blood Sample 12, Cord Blood Sample 13, Cord Blood Sample 14, Cord Blood Sample 15, Cord Blood Sample 16, Cord Blood Sample 17, Cord Blood Sample 18, Cord Blood Sample 19, Cord Blood Sample 20, Participant #1, Participant #10, Fred Gellert, Adelaide Gomer, Ann Hunter-Welborn, Jesse Johnson, Winsome McIntosh, Judi Shils, Participant #18, Lynde Uihlein, Participant #2, Participant #20, Jessica Welborn, Alicia Wittink, Irene Crowe, Martha Davis, Emily Sayrs, Participant #6, Anonymous Adult RN7, Anonymous Teen 22, Anonymous Adult RN9, Anonymous Adult, Anonymous Adult 2, Anonymous Adult 3, Anonymous Adult 5, Anonymous Adult 4, Anonymous Adult 6, Anonymous Adult 7, Anonymous Teen 1, Anonymous Adult 9, Anonymous Adult 12, Anonymous Adult 13, Anonymous Adult 11, Anonymous Adult 10, Anonymous Adult 14, Anonymous Adult 15, Anonymous Adult 16, Anonymous Adult 17, Anonymous Adult 18, Anonymous Adult 20, Anonymous Adult 21, Baby #1, Baby #2, Baby #3, Baby #4, Baby #5, Baby #6, Baby #7, Baby #8, Baby #9, Baby #10, Anonymous Adult 1, Kathy Fowler, U.S. Representative Louise Slaughter, Participant #2, Participant #8, Kelsey Wirth, Michael Goodstein, Margie Roswell, Nina Damato, Nora Pouillon, Stephanie Berger

Found in these locations:

Corpus Christi, TX; Green Bay, WI; New Orleans, LA; Oakland, CA; Sausalito, CA; NJ, USA; Berkeley, CA; Pleasantville, NY; Bolinas, CA; Mill Valley, CA; Round Hill, VA; CA, USA; Belvedere, CA; Ithaca, NY; Encinitas, CA; New York, NY; Washington, DC; Ross, CA; VA, USA; Milwaukee, WI; CO, USA; San Francisco, CA; Littleton, CO; MD, USA; Chicago, IL; Newton, MA; Fredericksburg, VA; Lamont, FL; Atlanta, GA; Mountain View, CA; Stanford, CA; Palo Alto, CA; Alamo, CA; Fallbrook, CA; Rockville, MD; Upstate New York, NY; Silver Spring, MD; Cambridge, MA; Bethesda, MD; Baltimore, MD


Heavy metals are age old industrial toxins that cause multiple impacts to human health. Most heavy metals impact several body systems. Lead and mercury are highly toxic to the brain, nervous system, kidneys, reproductive system, and immune system. (ATSDR 1999; ATSDR 1999) Many are probable or known carcinogens. (NTP 2002) Scientific research is beginning to question the role that a lifetime of metals exposure may play in degenerative diseases of aging like Parkinsons and Alzheimers. (Zawia 2005)

Unlike many other chemicals detected in the human body, much more is known about the toxic effects of heavy metal exposures, sources of exposure to the chemical, and typical concentrations in modern populations. However, despite this knowledge, millions of Americans suffer from chronic exposures to heavy metals, including lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium. The CDC recently reported 10% of American women of childbearing age (7 million women each year) have mercury in their blood at levels that the are potentially unsafe for the developing fetus. (NAS 2000).

People are exposed to heavy metals via many common sources: house paint (lead), dental fillings (mercury), vaccines (mercury), cigarettes (cadmium), food, drinking water and hazardous waste sites.

Blood measurements of heavy metals are often a snapshot of what the body has been exposed to within the last month or so. The human body removes half of any given mercury exposure within about two months. However, when mercury reaches the brain, it can be transformed into inorganic mercury and reside in the brain for much longer. Lead is stored in the bone for years, and remobilized into the bloodstream during pregnancy. Mercury in the blood of pregnant women accumulates in higher concentrations in her developing child. (ATSDR 1999)


Toxic metals impact a variety of body systems. Most sensitive effects are to the brain and nervous system of developing infant and child.

Metals has been found in 94 of the 94 people tested in EWG/Commonweal studies.

Top health concerns for Metals (References)

health concern or target organ weight of evidence
Brain and nervous systemunknown

Toxicity Classifications (References)

classification governing entity/references
Nervous system toxicity - weight of evidence unknown/unassessedEPA (1999). Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) on Elemental Mercury. . Washington, DC, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Center for Environmental Assessment, Office of Research and Development.