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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 43  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 246-253

Heavy metals and living systems: An overview


Department of Pharmacognosy, Babu Banarasi Das National Institute of Technology and Management, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Reena Singh
Department of Pharmacognosy, Babu Banarasi Das National Institute of Technology and Management, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0253-7613.81505

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Heavy metals are natural constituents of the earth's crust, but indiscriminate human activities have drastically altered their geochemical cycles and biochemical balance. This results in accumulation of metals in plant parts having secondary metabolites, which is responsible for a particular pharmacological activity. Prolonged exposure to heavy metals such as cadmium, copper, lead, nickel, and zinc can cause deleterious health effects in humans. Molecular understanding of plant metal accumulation has numerous biotechnological implications also, the long term effects of which might not be yet known.






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