Heavy metals, can anyone answer?
April 6, 2012 at 11:57 am #16327
I am curious as to what impact heavy metals have on the body (both positive and negative)?
And, if at all possible, does anyone know what impact they have on negative ions and positive ions both inside the body and in the immediate vincinity of the body?
April 7, 2012 at 4:13 pm #110536
April 8, 2012 at 10:42 pm #110543quote Darby:
Thank you very much.
Anyone have anything on positive/negative ion impact in terms of heavy metals?
April 9, 2012 at 7:07 am #110546AstraSequiParticipant
The majority of all the molecules in your body are ions (all phospholipids, almost all proteins, ATP, NAD+…) Of course many of these would be affected by any toxin to some degree, but I can’t think of any reason why their ionic state would be important for this. It is not as if the heavy metals could cause a change in the overall (neutral) charge of our body, since the body is a conductor and we are constantly grounding ourselves throughout the day.
Could you be more specific in your question?
April 9, 2012 at 7:40 pm #110554quote AstraSequi:
I would like to know if it is possible that the introduction of heavy metals (which have a positive surface charge but I was looking to verify that) would have either a net increase or decrease on the overall ion charge – either bias towards positive or negative or just retaining any charge in general.
You are right the body is a conductor (60% to 80% conductivity if I recall correctly?), however, given that feet often aren’t directly earthed (given shoes are often made of insulating material), I am curious as to whether or not a negative or positive ion charge could be stored (must be possible given static electric shocks) in the human body, and whether or not heavy metals in an amount (or even electrolytes – given they too are ionic compounds) can allow the body to hold a greater charge (whether negative or positive or even both) over all?
April 9, 2012 at 7:59 pm #110556DarbyParticipant
The toxic concentrations of most heavy metals should be too low to really affect overall charge levels.
April 10, 2012 at 12:10 am #110558quote Darby:
I’m dealing with a theoretical situation presented where individuals are exposed to the working conditions of a smelting plant, that are (due to poor health and safety laws) exposed to constant vapour consisting of heavy metals. Ignoring precise dosage amounts (this might either be high or low), I am curious as to whether or not hypothetically if heavy metals could alter charge levels? I am assuming, given the presented situation of constant smelting plant exposure, the levels would build up to perhaps even dangerously high levels over time.
I am also curious about whether or not electrolytes (I am assuming abnormal balancing of the electrolytes in this situation) could alter charge? Although this is separate from the heavy metals question, but part of the same line of thinking.
April 10, 2012 at 7:44 am #110564JackBeanParticipant
No, they will hardly efect something like "charge levels", whatever should it be.
Anyway, some metals are needed for the body in very low amount (Cu, Mn, Co, lots of them), but in higher amounts they are toxic due to protein denaturation leading eventually to renal failure. That’s long story very short 🙂
April 10, 2012 at 8:49 am #110566quote JackBean:
Then by what mechanism does static electricity work? Because in order for it to work, a (negative) charge has to be maintained on the body until a sufficient positive-negative ion exchange (I.E touching a grounded or metal source) is available. Surely electrolytes, which are ionic compounds that affect conductivity (variable depending on type) of the blood plasma (liquids), and the heavy metals, which have a positive surface charge (thus drawing negative ions to it), would allow for a greater (I would say negative) charge to be held (irregardless as to precise amount so long as a greater charge can indeed be held)?
I suppose, if I was to rephrase, would either heavy metals or electrolytes have any effect on the capacitance of the body, even if minuscule amounts?
The reason I ask is because I am trying to determine why certain individuals (who appear to have problems with electrolytic levels) are more suspect to electrical shocks during storms (storms generate negative ions, the body being a conductor and thus a lightning rod of sorts would be able to perhaps pick up such negative ions allowing it to build up and discharge even in an environment that does not permit fiction to build up the static charge) compared to individuals (like myself) who have normal electrolytic levels who experience no such shocks during storms. I’m perusing the heavy metals (given they too, are ionic compounds) as a side consideration and for thoroughness.
A shocking suggestion, I know.
April 11, 2012 at 12:07 am #110576AstraSequiParticipant
(This post was partially written yesterday, but I didn’t finish writing it until after your latest post, so I’m not sure if it’s coherent. Please ask again if you have any questions.)
A net charge (positive or negative) can be stored on your body, but it is neutralized by a flow of electrons (not “positive-negative ion exchange,” as you said) whenever you ground yourself. This is constantly happening throughout the day ‒ it’s just that you don’t notice it unless the charge is large enough. Static electricity is what happens when you build up sufficient charge for you to feel that flow of electrons. The effect is the same whether the charge is positive or negative.
So for practical purposes, the maximum net charge you would ever store is very small. If you tried to avoid ever grounding yourself, then the amount of (net) charge your body can hold is determined by what will electrocute you. However, I can’t think of a reason why this threshold could be easily manipulated, and I think that doing so would probably involve changes in the structure of your cells and organs.
I should also point out that voltage will have an effect as well (capacitance is only proportional to the maximum net charge (q) that can be held, which is calculated by q = CV). I’ve also been assuming that you want to stay alive, but I think that the actual q is higher than the q that will kill you.
Even if you consumed something charged (which is very unlikely, since pretty much all ions exist in positive/negative pairs such that the net charge is neutral – and the effect would be no different from just touching whatever it was anyways), then the next time you grounded yourself the charge would still disappear. Charge is not the reason why heavy metals are toxic. 🙂 Similarly, it is not the reason that your body needs ATP, etc.
You can quite easily increase the total numbers of ions in your body with no effects, since something with a net charge of zero has no electrical effects. Of course, I mean no effects that are specifically due to the charge – for example, if you consume a lot of salt there may be other problems, and your body will just get rid of the excess anyways. There is some separation of charges within the body, such as in the nerves, but in those cases it is the gradient (potential) that is important and not the absolute numbers of ions (above a certain minimum).
Also, electrical storms do not generate negative ions – or at least, that is not the entire story. They generate both negative and positive ions, setting up a voltage between the clouds and the ground. When the voltage becomes strong enough to discharge through the air, then you get lightning. To generate negative charges alone would violate the Law of Conservation of Charge.
I’m also not sure why you’d specifically look at heavy metals, since they tend to be found only in tiny quantities even under toxic conditions, as mentioned above, and it is net (absolute) charge that is the important factor in electrical discharges. Why would you think that certain individuals are more susceptible to electrical storms?
April 11, 2012 at 10:31 pm #110593
Thank you for your reply.
To quickly address a couple of points – I’m not saying the positive surface charge of the heavy metals is causing the toxicity (I’m just inquiring into their effects as it’s a long chain of reasoning that appears completely disjointed on the surface).quote AstraSequi:
I’ve been speaking with a number of people who’ve reported getting electric shocks (quite a number at that), however they don’t have the conditions sufficient (I.E. they don’t have nylon and wool or typical transferrent surfaces that charge it) to generate the negative ions, suggesting an unconventional system. After hearing a number of similar cases I concluded it wasn’t by conventional means and was too frequent to dismiss. But not everybody reported getting shocks during storms (I personally don’t) and it suggests to me there must be a unique mechanism behind it.
I had, during my own time, found a comment of an individual who purchased a negative ioniser and got electric shocks when it was switched on (which sounded like the cases I had read), and I wondered if there was a relation, so, after obtaining a negative ion generator to test the hypothesis I placed one hand directly over the generator (but not touching) so I would absorb the negative ions on one hand – and naturally got an electric shock (through both my left hand, right hand, and even ear via the earphones I had on). On this basis one knows that negative ions can cause electric shocks once built up (they don’t discharge before hand because my body isn’t grounded – but then again, neither is the external plastic case of the laptop it jumped to). Seem obvious enough, at first.
Negative ions are generated in storms, but that’s not sufficient enough to imply a causation or even correlation between the cases. So to test the hypothesis backwards, I inquired as to whether or not the electric shocks occurred during storms. Sure enough, it was confirmed they did. And to further test another theory, I inquired if such individuals had headaches just before a storm occurs (which rests on the thesis that positive ions cause headaches in individuals who are sensitive to it), to which they also confirmed.
Based on this information, it suggests to me that during the evaporative processes of rainwater (which raises up – the opposite direction to a shower), negative ions are built up into the clouds (I suppose a basis for lightning, which is also negative voltage?), leaving a higher concentration of positive ions on the ground (which begins to trigger the headaches), which when the storm then occurs, the negative ions are then dumped (like in a shower), which then causes the electric shocks in the suspect individuals (who are already sensitive to the headaches).
My theory is, given this seems to be a common problem amongst the group, that an electrolyte (or ionic compound, depending on your preference) imbalance is responsible, given they would impact conductivity of the blood plasma (altering how conductive the body is to surrounding ions) and perhaps even how much of a charge can be carried. As with all theories, I need to establish the clear mechanism behind this process before it has any value, and as such, I’m seeing if electrolytes/heavy metals (heavy metals being another theory) could have any impact by inquiry.
Perhaps I am looking in the wrong place by looking at storage capacity (because I felt the individuals would need some way to store the ions initially before getting the shock), and it really is a matter of conductivity and therefore sensitivity to the ions that I need to be analysing.
April 21, 2012 at 11:22 am #110717
Kinda like a layden jar. Or is all this beyond people?
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