What is nickel

Health effects of nickel

Nickel only occurs in very low concentrations in nature. Humans use this metal in a variety of ways, mainly as a component in steel and other metal products such as jewelry.
Food is usually low in nickel, with the exception of chocolate and fats, which are often seriously high. Eating vegetables that grow on contaminated soil can also be dangerous as nickel accumulates in plants. Smoking also adds increased amounts of nickel to the body. Nickel is also found in detergents. Skin contact with nickel-contaminated water and soil can also be dangerous.
In small amounts, nickel is not only harmless but also very important for the body. However, if the ingested concentrations become too high, the following symptoms can occur:

- Increased risk of lung, nose, larynx and prostate cancer
- Nausea and dizziness after being in an environment containing nickel gas
Pulmonary embolism
- Respiratory diseases
- freaks
- asthma and chronic bronchitis
- Allergic reactions such as B. Skin rashes from jewelry containing nickel
- cardiac dysfunction

Environmental effects of nickel

Nickel is emitted into the air by power stations and waste incineration plants, from where it ends up in soil and water through sedimentation processes or precipitation. Wastewater that is discharged untreated into surface waters is also a source of nickel. Most nickel particles are absorbed by sediment and soil particles, making them immobile. This bond is not as strong in an acidic environment and nickel can enter the groundwater.

Unfortunately, not much information is available on the effects of nickel on flora and fauna. It is known that high nickel concentrations on sandy soils damage the plants growing there and minimize the growth rate of algae in bodies of water. The same can occur with various microorganisms, provided they do not develop resistance to nickel.
The same applies to animals as to humans: small concentrations are healthy, high concentrations damage the body. Cancer can develop in various parts of the body, especially in animals that live near refineries.

Nickel and water

Back to the periodic table of the elements.