Thursday, November 13, 2008

Can You OD On Heavy Metal?

And I'm not talking about the music.

In a HOUSE rerun, a loving wife is slowly poisoning her husband with gold sodium thiomalate, an older arthritis treatment rarely used in the U.S., which raised the question: What are other dangerous heavy metals besides gold and how many people die from them?

The top 3 heavy metal contenders that lead to death are:

Arsenic which is found in cigarettes, along with a lot of other toxins. Cigarettes are estimated to kill 2.1 million per year in the world.

Lead (found in batteries, crayons, paint, ceramic glazes, lead crystal, balsamic vinegar, etc.) was a major component of air pollution from leaded gas in the 1970s. Air pollution has been linked to cancer, particularly breast cancer of which 41,316 people died in the US in 2005 and 548,000 died worldwide in 2007. According to a report by the World Health Organization, lead also leads to heart disease, gastrointestinal problems and anemia and was responsible for approx. 229,000 worldwide deaths in 2003 from heart disease alone.

Mercury is now found in high concentrations in fish from pollutants in water. We come into contact with Mercury from dental fillings, cosmetics, vaccines, thermometers and other medical devices. When the Chisso Corporation dumped mercury into Minamata Bay in Japan from 1932 to 1968, an estimated 1,000 deaths resulted from eating the toxic fish.

Gold is less of a threat as a heavy metal toxin. But, as a symbol of economic greed it may be responsible for more deaths and financial ruin than all the heavy metal pollutants identified above.

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Face It. We Can Go Anytime. But In So Many Different Ways!

Cause of Death is a great reference tool for writers, entomologists (some insects kill a lot of people) and anyone interested in health and death-related information. After all, we will all bite the dust, check out, buy the farm and kick the bucket but where we live, our sex, race, age, genetics and habits will ensure we will exit in our own unique way.

I can see this book being useful for people creating fiction where they need somebody to die, and fast.” - Cause of Death book review 'Where To Find Ingredients For Your Next Death Scene'

Death By Numbers

A Book In the Hand