Soil has been a source of wealth for humans for infinite years and it continues so at present. Both mineral and organic amendments have been applied to soil to slow down its progressive impoverishment. Biological activity, mainly microbial activity, plays a key role in the stability and fertility as well as in biogeochemical cycles. Effect of potentially toxic elements on soil microbial activity, the composition of soil microbial community, soil enzyme activities, and soil physiochemical properties have been reviewed in this work.
Part of the book: Metals in Soil
Groundwater which fulfills globally 50–80% need of drinking water, due to Anthropogenic and geologic activities, has been continuously contaminated by potentially toxic metals, causing a range of effects to animals and citizenry. In the developing countries, about 80% of diseases are waterborne diseases. Bio accumulation of these metals in citizenry due to intake of contaminated vegetables, fruits, fishes, seafood and drinking water and beverages causes a serious threat to citizenry. Toxicity of these metals is due to metabolic interference and mutagenesis, interference in the normal functioning of structural proteins, enzymes, and nucleic acids by binding them, adversely affecting the immune and hematopoietic systems in citizenry and animals. The toxic metals also enrich antibiotic resistant microbes particularly bacteria by Co-selection (occurring by Co-resistance and cross-resistance) as it promotes antibiotic resistance in bacteria even in absence of antibiotics. These metals in living cells cause cytotoxicity, oxidative stress resulting in the damages of antioxidants, enzyme inhibition, loss of DNA repair mechanism, protein dysfunction and damage to lipid per oxidase. Endocrine disruption, neuro-developmental toxicity, biosynthesis of hemoglobin, metabolism of vitamin D, renal toxicity, damage to central nervous system, hearing speech and visual disorders, hypertension, anemia, dementia, hematemesis, bladder, lung, nose, larynx, prostate cancer, and bone diseases are some other health’s risks to human.
Part of the book: Heavy Metal Toxicity in Public Health