There are many heavy metals in our environment both naturally and from pollution. The term “heavy metal” applies to a group of metals with similar chemical properties. Some of these, including copper, iron and zinc, play important roles in our bodies. Others have no known benefit for health.
Examples of these are lead, which is found in paint in old homes as well as many
other sources; arsenic, which can be found in well water and wood products; and
mercury, which can build up in fish that we eat. At very high levels, most heavy
metals can cause health problems.