Heavy metals are inorganic elements with something like a density of more than 5 g/cm3. Essential and non-essential heavy metals were divided into two groups based on their toxicity. Heavy metals, unlike organic pollutants, are non-biodegradable and tend to accumulate in living things. Many heavy metal ions are hazardous or carcinogenic. The majority of heavy metals, such as cadmium, copper, and zinc, are linked to pollution and hazardous concerns. There are more than 50 elements categorized as heavy metals, with 17 of them being extremely hazardous and easily accessible. Metal pollutants are often non-degradable and have no recognized homeostasis mechanism. Their mere presence in aquatic habitats is enough to have a direct or indirect impact on living systems. The anthropogenic pollution of heavy metals in ancient mining regions refers to areas where the concentration of one or more heavy metals exceeds normal values. Heavy metals disrupt cellular organelles and components in biological systems. Nanoscale zero-valent iron is a promising alternative for heavy metal cleanup. Heavy metal ions are poisonous, non-degradable, and tend to bioaccumulate and biomagnify. The purpose of this chapter is to display some heavy metals and the environmental impact of these minerals, which includes soil, plants, and humans.
Part of the book: Environmental Impact and Remediation of Heavy Metals
Geochemistry is the study of the development, and distribution of chemical elements on Earth, which are found in rock-forming minerals and their byproducts, as well as in living beings, water, and the environment. The elemental geochemical variation of sediments is used to recognize the mechanisms controlling the estuarine environment and serves as a baseline for assessing the environmental effect in the future. Geochemistry is a unique field that deals with the study of mineral deposits. It also addresses the interconnections between the structures of rock, soil, water, and air, which vary according to different places. Furthermore, groundwater is the solely accessible water supply in many desert basins, particularly in developing nations. Geochemical indicators are proper instruments for addressing a diversity of hydrological issues, particularly in arid and semi-arid settings. Thermodynamically, the fugacity of oxygen (fO2) in solid earth varies by many orders of magnitude. Enstatite chondrites can have high levels of hydrogen abundance, hydrogen, and nitrogen isotope compositions like those of the earth’s mantle. The chapter deals with the basic concept of geochemistry and its types, as well as the development of geochemistry. It also explains elemental and isotopes geochemistry, human health, and medical geochemistry.
Part of the book: Geochemistry and Mineral Resources