Source, toxicity and carcinogenic health risk assessment of heavy metals

Hendrik Setia Budi, Maria Jade Catalan Opulencia, Arghavan Afra, Walid Kamal Abdelbasset, Dilmurod Abdullaev, Ali Majdi, Masoume Taherian, Hafez Ajam Ekrami, Mohammad Javad Mohammadi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Heavy metals are chemical elements with unique properties that are toxic even in low concentrations and affect human health with different functions. Agricultural and industrial activities, improper disposal of household solid waste and residues related to industrial producers, discharge of household wastewater and agricultural fertilizers are the most important ways in which toxic heavy metals enter the environment, which harms human health and life. A narrative review of the literature was done from 2000 to 2022 based on searched databases included Google Scholar, PubMed, Springer, Web of Science, and Science Direct (Scopus). All relevant studies published 2000 until 2022 gathered. According to the databases, 820 articles were retrieved. 186 and 50 articles were found and selected based on records identified through database searching and additional records identified through other sources. In the next stage, 97 studies were screened after review and 64 full-text articles entered into the analysis process. Finally, 45 articles were selected in this study. Adverse effects of heavy metals on various conditions in the body depend on a number of factors, including dose, route of exposure and chemical species, as well as age, sex, genetics, nutritional status, and duration of exposure to the heavy metal. The existence of significant relationships between long-term and short-term exposure to toxic heavy metals and their adverse effects, including carcinogenicity, has been extensively studied and proven through numerous experiments. However, the mechanisms associated with this complication have not been properly identified, so in future research, there is a great need for comprehensive studies on the carcinogenicity of heavy metals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-90
Number of pages14
JournalReviews on Environmental Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2024


  • carcinogenicity
  • health
  • heavy metals
  • risk assessment
  • toxicity


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