Microorganisms can reduce ionic forms to the elemental state. Low levels of ionized metals released to the environment have antimicrobial activity.

Many of these metals can be reduced to elemental forms and do not tend to cross the blood-brain barrier. Silver reduction can lead to inert deposits in the skin.

Metals that form stable carbon metal bonds

As Hg Se

Arsenic Mercury Selenium

Microorganisms can transform inorganic and organic forms to methylated forms, some of which tend to bioaccumulate in higher trophic levels.

Methylated forms of some metals can cross the blood-brain barrier, resulting in neurological effects or death.

Other metals

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