Genotoxic Agents: Heavy Metals

Essay by Cenobite321High School, 10th gradeB+, February 2008

download word file, 7 pages 0.0 1 reviews

Downloaded 22 times


Firstly it is important to define several key concepts that were important to know for the elaboration of our project. The first of them are the xenobiotic agents, according to the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, these are "chemical compound[s] that [are] not produced by living organisms"�, this means that they are artificially produced by the man. Some of these chemical compounds are harmful to the living organisms and may highly alter or damage their DNA structure if they are exposed to them. These compounds are called genotoxic agents.

Being aware of the presence of these agents is important to prevent several diseases that can be passed later through inheritance. This can be seen in the persons living near the polluted rivers where industries and homes dump their wastes. With this we can see that xenobiotic agents can severely affect large populations if they are constantly exposed to them.

In this work we will explain the importance of knowing about the xenobiotic agents, specifically the metals in water, with the example of the Musi River in India and finally we will explain the actual state of the xenobiotic agents in Mexico and what is has been done to stop the problem.

Part 1: Heavy Metals and DNA

Metals in water are one of the most common examples of genotoxic agents made by the human being. There are many toxic heavy metals that can be highly harmful to the body; we can mention several examples, like cadmium, copper, mercury, nickel, and zinc. All of these metals when they are in an aqueous environment, they have several interactions with the DNA that can alter or damage it. Let's take some of the previous metals as examples of this: cadmium, for example, when in water if...