why egg white and milk can be an antidote to heavy metal poisoning?
- izzyLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
Heavy metal salts act to denature proteins in much the same manner as acids and bases. Heavy metal salts usually contain Hg+2, Pb+2, Ag+1 Tl+1, Cd+2 and other metals with high atomic weights. Since salts are ionic they disrupt salt bridges in proteins. The reaction of a heavy metal salt with a protein usually leads to an insoluble metal protein salt.
This same reaction is used in reverse in cases of acute heavy metal poisoning. In such a situation, a person may have swallowed a significant quantity of a heavy metal salt. As an antidote, a protein such as milk or egg whites may be administered to precipitate the poisonous salt. Then an emetic is given to induce vomiting so that the precipitated metal protein is discharged from the body.