Have you ever wondered which elements are toxic? Everything is toxic if the dose is high enough, so I've compiled a short list of elements that have no nutritional value, even in trace amounts. Some of these elements accumulate in the body, so there is no truly safe exposure limit for those elements (e.g., lead, mercury). Barium and aluminum are examples of elements which can be excreted, at least to a certain extent. Most of these elements are metals. The man-made elements are radioactive and toxic whether they are metals or not.
- Arsenic (metalloid)
- Hexavalent Chromium Cr6+ (Cr3+ is necessary in trace amounts for proper nutrition)
- Polonium (metalloid)
- Transuranium elements (e.g., polonium, americium)
- Radioactive isotopes of metals that might not otherwise be highly toxic (e.g., cobalt-60, strontium-90)