Heavy metals

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A group of metals, the term having somewhat varying and questioned meanings:

1) Metals with a higher atomic weight than 5 (which means most metals).

2) Dense metals that are toxic at low concentrations and tend to accumulate in the food chain. Often mentioned are lead, mercurium, cadmium and uranium (definitional problems here are that some lighter metals can be toxic in similar way: aluminium, beryllium; and that some dense metals are important for living things for example iron, zinc, selen).


John H. Duffus ""Heavy metals" a meaningless term? (IUPAC Technical Report)" Pure and Applied Chemistry, 2002, Vol. 74, pp. 793-807.

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