Jump to main content
Jump to site search

All chapters
Previous chapter Next chapter

2

Human Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals: Principles and Applications

Humans are exposed to a number of “heavy metals” such as cadmium, mercury and its organic form methylmercury, uranium, lead, and other metals as well as metalloids, such as arsenic, in the environment, workplace, food, and water supply. Exposure to these metals may result in adverse health effects, and national and international health agencies have methodologies to set health-based guidance values with the aim to protect the human population. This chapter introduces the general principles of chemical risk assessment, the common four steps of chemical risk assessment: hazard identification, hazard characterization, exposure assessment, risk characterization, and toxicokinetic and toxicity aspects. Finally, the risk assessments performed by international health agencies such as the World Health Organisation, the Environmental Protection Agency of the United States, and the European Food Safety Authority are reviewed for cadmium, lead, mercury, uranium, and arsenic.

Publication details


Print publication date
11 Nov 2010
Copyright year
2011
Print ISBN
978-1-84973-091-4
From the book series:
Metal Ions in Life Sciences