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An accumulation of heavy metals is harmful and can lead to death.

Heavy metal poisoning is caused by the accumulation of certain metals in the body due to exposure through food, water, industrial chemicals, or other sources.

While our bodies need small amounts of some heavy metals — such as zinc, copper, chromium, iron, and manganese — toxic amounts are harmful.

If your body’s soft tissues accumulate too much of heavy metals, the resulting poisoning can cause serious damage.

Lead, mercury, arsenic, and cadmium are the metals most commonly associated with heavy metal poisoning in the United States.

Men and women are equally susceptible to heavy metal poisoning if they’re exposed in the same ways.

While children in the United States are still more prone to getting lead poisoning than adults, the number of children with harmful levels of lead in the blood has dropped 85 percent over the past 20 years, according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders.

Mercury poisoning is very rare in children.

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