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Heavy Metal Pollution Heavy metals, such as lead, chromium, copper, and cadmium, are harmful to the environment and toxic to human health. Industries typically introduce wastewater into natural bodies of water, and if metals are present, they bio-accumulate in the water system and can enter the food chain. Once these non-biodegradable metals have entered the food chain, they have the potential to accumulate in the human body leading to heavy metal poisoning. 1 Many different industries could release heavy metals into the environment via wastewater, such as iron and steel production, mining and mineral processing, pigment manufacturing, battery manufacturing, printing and photography, and others. 1,2

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