Metals are an integral part of the earth’s ecosystem. In fact, the earth is mainly a big, molten ball of iron sustained by the long decay of uranium deep beneath the earth’s crust.
But certain metals pose risks to the ecosystem, especially when dumped into the ocean or landfills as part of an industrial process. Mercury is the poster child for toxic metal contamination as it is the byproduct of an array of industrial processes as well as the combustion of coal for power, but it has many counterparts like Beryllium .
All metals are not bad for the environment, but there are certainly some whose exposure must be severely limited especially when extracted from their naturally occurring compounds.
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