Almost the whole life of man is connected with metals. Many of the surrounding objects, equipment, vehicles include metals. And metals in a free state can form salts and even be included into the human body. And not only can be included – they should be included into the human body for its normal functioning and development.
The role of metals in the development of mankind is enormous. Strength, plasticity, impermeability, hardness, ductility - all these characteristics made metals a key material for the creation of tools, weapons, equipment. There were the bronze and iron ages, the Silver Age , etc. in history, then the era of electricity began, and now - the era of electronics. The closest prospects for modern society include full automation of production, distribution of drones (robots), conquest of space, etc. And all this will happen with the direct participation of metals. But let us start from the beginning - from people.
Metals in people
Every day we come across metals. For example, by pressing the switch in the room, we start the process when the electrons begin their journey along the metal conductors to the metal parts of the light bulb. And there is a light in the room! Walking down the street, we see a lot of metal structures: bridges, rails, houses, etc. Cars and bicycles move around, which also consist largely of metals. Metals are everywhere!
And even in ourselves? Yes, being in a free state, metals can be included in the composition of salts, which, in turn, are part of human cells. For example, potassium ions regulate protein and carbohydrate metabolism, and are also necessary for all muscles, especially the heart! Magnesium salts have an antiseptic and vasodilating effect, calcium salts are needed for normal growth of the skeleton, and sodium helps maintain the acid balance in the body.
Thus, it can be understood that the possibilities of metals are virtually limitless. Let us talk about specific representatives of these substances and their meaning for people.
Gold is a precious metal, beautiful and expensive. Gold is easily processed, does not lend itself to corrosion. Of course, in the first place it is metal, important for the jewelry industry. But not only for that. For example, experts estimated that one iPhone contains 30 mg of gold, which is used in the manufacture of motherboards.
Today all the mined gold is in various states and international financial organizations, jewelry, electronic industry and dental products, as well as in investment savings (as you know, gold can be bought and stored in bars).
If gold is mixed with other metals, it will not lose its properties and will not let them into its structure, so gold is used clean. In this case, gold is easily isolated from any substance, since it does not pass from one state to another. Even being in the air, gold will remain gold.
They say that gold has magical power and gives it to a man. In this case, you can not worship gold, otherwise a person may start depression and even illness, but if a person is not obsessed with this metal, then it helps spiritual growth of the person. As legends have it.
Silver is also a rare metal, but it does not cause insanity in people and is generally perceived more calmly both in history and in our days.
The value of silver is that it can purify - water, air. For example, ionizers of air with silver particles are often used.
At the same time, silver is rapidly oxidized when it interacts with oxygen. Therefore, jewelry from it is made less often than from gold, and they are cheaper. But it is actively used in the creation of mirrors, Christmas toys, etc.
They say that silver possesses medicinal properties precisely by virtue of its ability to purify. Traditional medicine says: if you keep water during the day on silver and drink it, you can cleanse the body of toxins.
Everything is clear with iron: we need it both in everyday life around us and in our body. With a lack of iron in the body, iron deficiency anemia occurs. Drugs with iron content were used in ancient China, Egypt, Greece.
At the same time, too much iron is too dangerous. So, if there is the high content of iron in drinking water, it, on the contrary, can lead to diseases of the liver, blood and cause allergic reactions.
Copper has a rare property that other metals do not have. It does not respond to electromagnetic storms that cause pressure jumps. This property formed the basis for the creation of medical copper bracelets, which are often worn by people with hypertension.
Of course, there is a lot of copper and in various details of the equipment surrounding us. For example, refrigerators, electric motors, gas stoves contain about 1 kg of copper each.
Copper is also part of the catalysts of oxidative processes in the human body. More than 50 proteins and enzymes with a copper content are known. In this case, copper and iron in living organisms are closely related. Copper accelerates the oxidative response of cells, promotes the formation of hemoglobin, the accumulation of iron for future use.
To get enough amount of copper, a person needs to eat right. For example, copper is found in seafood, in the liver of halibut and cod, in buckwheat and oatmeal, in rye and wheat bread, etc.
And the "space" aluminum is harmful to the body. It paralyzes the nervous and immune systems, contributes to the development of Alzheimer's disease. Aluminum can enter the body with food, drinking water, salt, etc.
Metals and the environment
Pollution from metals especially increased with general industrialization and globalization. Of the toxins that enter the human body, 70% comes from food, 20% from the air, and 10% from the water. Toxins in the form of metals that are not necessary to the body in its basic state, as a rule, enter the human body out of the air in the form of the smallest particles that had been formed during the combustion of coal, oil, peat and other fuels, and also as a result of emissions of individual industries.
In addition, motor transport is also one of the main sources of toxic pollution. The cars emit salts of lead, sulfur, and carbon into the atmosphere. From lead poisoning, a person may even begin to experience depression.
Due to the peculiarities of the influence of metals on the environment, modern metallurgical enterprises everywhere take care of the ecological safety of production and actively introduce "green" technologies. It also includes investing in projects aimed at minimizing the impact of companies on the environment, and on the purchase of equipment for environmental protection measures. And the largest metallurgists are certified according to the international environmental standard ISO 14001.
Thus, metals in today's life can play a variety of roles: from important components of structures and vital to the human technique to imperceptible particles in the diffuse state, from microelements of the human body to toxic substances that cause allergy and disease. And if in the industry the management of metals is metallurgists work, then in nature and living organisms the movement of metals is regulated by the laws of biology. Perhaps, when it comes to the exploration of outer space and other planets with other forms of life, working with metals will get some other new forms and meanings.