Influence of Transition Metals on Animal and Human Health: A Review

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Niobium, osmium, scandium, tungsten and vanadium are transition metals naturally occuring in the environment, particularly in the Earth’s crust. Anthropogenic activities, primarily industrial technologies, have precipitated significant alternations in the concentration and distribution of these metals. Such a dramatic change resulted, by all means, in the bigger potential of the environmental exposure, which poses a threat not only to humans but to all biological systems. Certain elements naturally occur in the animal and human plasma and tissues, but their concentrations are sometimes too low to be detected using the existing modern technologies. In small amounts, such elements are not harmful and some of them have even been suggested to have a beneficial role in the human or animal physiology. However, exposure to excessive antropogenically elevated levels can exert serious negative effects on the environment, agriculture and health. The findings summarized in this paper provide a review of the current knowledge about the implications of the transition metals considered on the health, accentuating the insufficiency and need for more relevant data.

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