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Full Version: Dietary Benefits and the Industrial exposure hazards of the Essential metals
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Metals possess wide range of applications from domestic to industrial use. Inspite of its toxic nature and effect on exposure of various metals few metals are very essential for the human body to carry out normal biological functions. The significant elements playing a vital role in influencing biological process are Chromium(III), cobalt, copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Molybdenum, selenium, vanadium, tantalum and zinc.

Chromium(III): The recommended daily intake of this element is 0.06mg and the dietary chromium(III) is involved in the metabolism of lipids and sugars. Chromium is widely used in paint industry, fabrication industries and in leather industry for tanning. The industrial exposure to compounds of chromium is found to cause skin ulcers, perforations in the nasal area and inflammation of liver and larynx. The target organ of chromium is the respiratory tract, central nervous system (CNS), liver, skin and kidney.

Cobalt: Key element of vitamin B12 and the recommended daily dietary intake is 0.3mg. Cobalt is generally obtained as a by product from different metals and is widely used in salt form as catalyst in paint industry to enhance the activities like drying of paints and to produce pigments. Excess intake of cobalt results in a condition called polycythemia and the target organs of cobalt are the GI tract, respiratory tract, CNS, cardio vascular system, skin and endocrine.

Copper: Plays a vital role in oxygen transport and influences the uptake of iron by the body and also involved in biological process by transporting electrons. The recommended daily dietary intake is 3.2mg. Copper is widely used metal in industries and its salts posses antibacterial and antifungal properties. The sensitivity to copper toxicity is less in humans but the oral intake of copper in its salt form may even be fatal. Blood and GI tract are the target sites of copper.

Iron: Significant element for the production of hemoglobin and also aides oxygen transport with daily dietary intake of 15mg. Iron as a metal is widely used in the steel industry for fabrication. Iron toxicity is either acute or chronic. Hemochromatosis is the condition arising as a result of chronic iron poisoning. The target systems of iron are the GI tract, respiratory tract, CNS, liver, blood and endocrine.

Manganese: Manganese is a significant element required for good bone health and structure. The recommended daily dietary intake of manganese is 5mg. Manganese as such and its derivatives are used in manufacturing steel alloys, batteries, coils, glass and many other applications. The target sites of manganese are the respiratory tract and CNS. The acute manganese poisoning as a result of inhalation affects the respiratory system whereas the chronic toxicity affects the central nervous system.

Magnesium: Being a co-factor for different enzymes catalyzing various biochemical reactions and important element in energy production the recommended daily dietary intake of magnesium is 500mg. The major industrial application of magnesium is in manufacturing alloys. Inhalation of the oxide form of magnesium causes metal fume fever. The target organ of magnesium is the central nervous system.

Molybdenum: The recommended daily intake of molybdenum is 0.35mg. The multiple functions of molybdenum involves energy production, maintaining the function of kidney by processing the water and participation in the biologic phenomenon of the nervous system. Molybdenum finds its way into industries producing lubricants and catalysts and it is also used in manufacturing temperature resistant steel alloys. Molybdenum toxicity in humans is not evident. The target organs of molybdenum are the liver, blood, kidney and bone.

Selenium: Selenium is considered as a good antioxidant protecting cells from free radicals and also important element for a good immune system. The recommended daily dietary intake of selenium is 0.06 to 0.15mg. Selenium finds its way into industries manufacturing electronic items, ceramic and steel industries and chemical industry. Acute toxicity of selenium causes damage to the central nervous system and chronic toxicity is exhibited by GI tract disorders, smell in the breath, anemia, damage to spleen and pain in the lumbar region. Selenium is also classified as teratogen. GI tract, CNS, skin and liver are the target sites of selenium.

Vanadium: Vanadium takes care of the blood vessels by protecting them by blocking or inhibiting the formation of cholesterol. It is involved in energy production and metabolism of fat as well. The recommended daily intake of vanadium is 2.5mg. Vanadium is used in the process of steel making, pigment production and also in the production of insecticides. Bronchitis and bronchopneumonia are the conditions upon exposure to vanadium. Also effects on GI tract, skin and tongue is noticed. The target organs of vanadium are the respiratory tract, CNS, skin and kidney.

Zinc: Zinc is the most important element participating in cell division and growth. Zinc is also considered as a vital factor in fertility. Zinc has an affinity for immune system, hair, nails and skin and enhances them. Zinc can also be mentioned as an elemental factor in gene expression. The recommended daily intake is about 12mg. Zinc is used in manufacturing various products like paint, rubber, preservatives of wood, paper and glass. The metal fume fever on inhaling zinc oxide and skin toxicity on exposure to zinc chloride are some of the effects of zinc compounds. Zinc targets the GI tract, blood and the bone.

Thus the significance of the dietary elements and the occupational hazards of the same elements has been explained.
The elements Chromium, cobalt, copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Molybdenum, selenium, vanadium, tantalum and zinc are very useful to the human being body. You have shared good information about the functions of the all elements very clearly.