32 Surprising Sources of Toxic Heavy Metals

Heavy metal is a serious threat to the health of your body and brain. I’m not referring to Ozzy Osbourne or Metallica here, although too much headbanging has probably damaged more than a few brain cells.  I’m referring to the metals found in food, water, air, and many commercially-available products. Here are some surprising sources:

Aluminum—Although not technically a heavy metal, aluminum is a metal that can pose a serious threat to health, particularly with excessive exposure. It has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Aluminum is found in:

-Baby formula;

-Baked goods and processed foods;


-Over-the-counter and prescription antacids;

-Other pharmaceutical drugs as a binding agent;

-Aluminum pots and pans;

-Shampoo; and

-Skin cream.

Keep reading to learn about toxic sources of cadmium, lead, and mercury…Cadmium—has serious repercussions for the brain and inhibits the body’s ability to use nutrients like iron, zinc, and calcium leaving people more vulnerable to bone and immune system disorders.  Cadmium is found in:

-Automobile seat covers;

-Black rubber;

-Burned motor oil;



-Evaporated milk;


-Floor coverings;



-Refined wheat flour (white flour);

-Silver polish; and

-Soft drinks from vending machines with cadmium in the pipes.

Lead—Linked to dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, learning disabilities, seizure disorders, aggression, hyperactivity, and many other health issues.  It is found in:

-Canned food;

-Cigarette smoke (first-hand or second-hand);

-Colored, glossy newsprint;

-Some ceramic dishes;

-Lead paint in older homes;

-Lead water pipes in older buildings;

-Refined chocolate; and

-Vehicle emissions (yes, even though lead gasoline was banned two decades ago in some countries).

Mercury—Known for its speedy ability to cross the blood-brain barrier to affect the brain, mercury is linked to neurological, psychological, and immunological disorders in people, including diseases like Alzheimer’s.  It has also been linked to heart arrhythmias, headaches, blurred vision, and weakness.  It is found in:

-Dental fillings (silver-looking ones) (Many dentists cite studies that show no mercury particles were released from fillings but numerous studies show that mercury is primarily released as a vapor to gain access to the brain and blood);

-Fish (Not all fish, but many farmed varieties tend to be contaminated with mercury); and

-Immunizations (many vaccines even those used for children contain the mercury-based preservative thimerosol in excessive amounts, for both children and adults).

Adapted with permission from The Brain Wash by Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD. Consult The Brain Wash for a complete list of references for this article.

Heavy Metal Toxicity: 16 Ways to Limit Your Exposure
Are You Toxic from Mercury?
How Much Lead is in My Lipstick?

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.5 months ago

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.10 months ago

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Catherine A.
Catherine A.10 months ago

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Michael M.
Michael M.1 years ago

One sneaky commenter pointed mercury is rarely used in vaccines any more. She didn't mention aluminum was being pumped into children with each injection. The CDC recommends 49 doses of 14 vaccines between day of birth and age six. That a lot of injected aluminum.

Jav R.
Jav R.2 years ago

Gracias por la información.

Melania Padilla
Melania Padilla3 years ago

thank you!

Deborah D.
Deborah D.4 years ago

Sounds like just being alive and going about
everyday living exposes us to toxic metals!

Antoinette S.
Antoinette S.4 years ago

So...even things we bake ourselves have Al...? Is it because of the baking trays used?

Kiana S.
Kiana S.4 years ago

Thanks for the information. I have a friend who has been struggling with mercury poisoning from fillings, and my mother is ill from having a metal on metal cobalt hip replacement a few years ago. They've been banned in the US for years, but have only just been taken off the market in the UK. Heavy metal poisoning is certainly no picnic and I'm going to do my best to avoid it!

Diana Roth
Diana Roth4 years ago

Thank you for the information.