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Table 1 Common uses and harmful effects of heavy metals [hazardous waste] on human health [23, 72]

From: Environmentally induced, occupational diseases with emphasis on chronic kidney disease of multifactorial origin affecting tropical countries

Substance Use Harmful effect MAL in potable watera (mg/L)
Cadmium Batteries, electroplating, TSP, SSP, tobacco, illegally brewed alcohol Protein and sugar in urine; renal damage 0.005
Lead Paint, batteries, alloys, welding, older water pipes and joints Nervous system and brain damage, lowered IQ, liver and kidney damage 0.05
Mercury Thermometers, fluorescent lamps and tube lights, thermostats, thermometers, medical equipment, batteries Nervous system and brain damage, renal damage 0.001
Hexavalent (VI) chromium Steel manufacturing, chrome plating, magnetic tapes, dyes and paints, tanning of leather, textile industry, tobacco smoke A carcinogen, kidney damage, skin diseases 0.05
Arsenic Insecticides, nematocides, wood preservative, alloys with copper and lead (car batteries), pesticides, volcanic ash Cancers in lung, bladder, and skin; keratosis and dermatitis 0.05
  1. a MAL maximum allowable limit. Source: Sri Lanka Standards Institute [23]