Environmental Medicine

Environmental Medicine -
Heavy Metal Burden: Chromium

Hexavalent chromium is a primary contaminant in many EPA Superfund waste sites. Although trivalent chromium is an essential nutrient related to glucose tolerance, hexavalent chromium is a known carcinogen that can occur naturally in groundwater but is also an industrial anticorrosive. Hexavalent chromium is converted in the body to trivalent chromium under acidic conditions; if a patient is taking antacids or suffers from a low level of stomach acid or H. Pylori infection, the conversion does not occur. Known effects of hexavalent chromium toxicity include:

  • Chronic Nose Bleeds
  • Lung/Nasal Septal Cancer
  • Nasal Mucosal Ulcers
  • Renal Dysfunction
  • GI Disease (ex: Crohn's Disease)
  • Liver Disease
  • Accelerated Tooth Decay
  • Miscarriages
  • Spinal Deterioration
  • Dry Cough
  • Impaired Wound Healing
  • Brain/Breast/GI Cancers

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