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 Chapter 18 : Matter
Health Risks from Heavy Metals

Whether it's lip balm that blocks UV rays from the sun or cream cheese with lower fat, society benefits from using chemicals in many products. But, chemicals, such as heavy metals, can be dangerous if they are used incorrectly or leak into the environment where they are not meant to be.

Recognize the Problem

Do heavy metals and other chemicals pose a threat to the health of humans? One way to reduce any threat is to know as much as possible about the chemical, its source, and its environmental impact.

Form a Hypothesis

Could health problems be caused by exposure to heavy metals, such as lead, or a radioactive chemical element, such as radon? Is the incidence of these problems higher in one area than another? Form a hypothesis as to the potential health risk of a chemical in your area.

Goals

  • Organize and synthesize information on a chemical or heavy metal thought to cause health problems in your area.

  • Communicate your findings with others in your class.

Data Sources

Test Your Hypothesis

Plan

  1. Read general information concerning heavy metals and other potentially hazardous chemicals.
  2. Use the sites listed on the Glencoe Science Web Site to research possible health problems in your area caused by exposure to chemicals or heavy metals.
  3. Check the Glencoe Science Web Site to see what others have learned.

Do

  1. Make sure your teacher approves your plan before you proceed.
  2. Search for resources that can help you find out about health risks in your area.
  3. Organize your information in a data table like the one shown.
  4. Write a report in your Science Journal about the results of your research.
  5. Post your data in the table below.


Analyze Your Data
  1. Did all your sources agree on the health risk of the chemical or heavy metal?
  2. Analyze all your sources for possible bias. Are some sources more reliable than others.
  3. How did the health risk differ for adults and children?

Draw Comclusions
  1. Were the same substances found to be health risks in other parts of the country? From the data on the Glencoe Science Web site try to predict what chemicals or heavy metals are health risks in different parts of the country.
  2. From your report, what information do you think is the most important for the public to be aware of?
  3. What could be done to decrease the risk of the health problems you identified?

Post Your Data


Results

Location
Chemical or Heavy Metal
How People Come in Contact with Chemical
Potential Health Problem
Who is affected
Location
Chemical or Heavy Metal
How People Come in Contact with Chemical
Potential Health Problem
Who is affected
Location
Chemical or Heavy Metal
How People Come in Contact with Chemical
Potential Health Problem
Who is affected
* City:
* State:
* School:

* Required

 

 

 


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