TOXIC METALS IN GENERAL
Emissions from coal-fired power plants contain lead, arsenic and mercury.
Consumer Reports found toxic metals in each of 15 protein drinks that they tested, including lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic.
Testing of consumer products for the HealthyStuff database has found toxic metals (including lead, cadmium, bromine, mercury and arsenic) in consumer products as varied as toys, clothing, handbags, pet supplies and children's car seats.
This blog post from You Are What You Eat includes a very long list of results of XRF testing on various household items, toys, cookware, etc. Many of these items had dangerous levels of cadmium, arsenic, lead, and mercury. There has been concern for some time about the possibility of lead in crock pots. I tried to find a source for this concern, but couldn't. I did find one blog post in which a number of crocks were tested with an XRF gun and none of them contained lead. This list from You Are What You Eat, however, does contain findings for dangerous levels of several metals in some crocks.
Himalayan sea salt has been found to contain lead, mercury, and aluminum among other things.
Aluminum is a common contaminant of food and contributes 25 times more aluminum than that found in drinking water.
High levels of aluminum have been found in infant formula
Several types of aluminum salts are used in antipersperants.
Aluminum can leach from cookware and food storage containers.
Aluminum in drinking water has been shown to increase inflammation in the brain
Fluoride increases the toxicity of aluminum in drinking water
Study finds that aluminum in IV feeding solutions for preterm infants can be neurotoxic
Aluminum can also come from some medications (including antacids), water treatment methods (including fluoridation), food additives (including baking powder), and from aluminum-lined beverage containers (such as soda cans and Capri-Sun type drink pouches). More here.
Arsenic in Food from the Dartmouth Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program
Arsenic in Your Food by Consumer Reports (from 2012)
A follow-up report in 2014 found even higher levels of arsenic in many rice products
Article on Grist about arsenic in rice and how it got there.
Arsenic has also been found in rice milks
Arsenic in juice
Arsenic is heavily used in vineyards and can be in wine in high levels.
Arsenic has also been used in treating lumber and wood (such as bark chips)
Cadmium can be found in children's jewelry.
Significant amounts of cadmium can leach from dishes
Information about additional sources of cadmium, including cigarettes, batteries, pigments, and fertilizer can be found here, as well as information about the effects of cadmium toxicity.
Lead and cadmium found in chocolate
Thousands of towns and areas in the US have high levels of lead poisoning, much of it from contaminated water.
Lead and cadmium found in chocolate
Lead found in children's foods and baby foods from The Environmental Law Foundation
Long list of children's food and drink products that contained high levels of lead when tested.
Lead contamination lingers on sites where factories once smelted metals
LED light bulbs contain lead (and arsenic)
Lead in children's toys and jewelry. A list of some of the toys and jewelry recalled due to lead toxicity.
A recall of black licorice due to high lead levels.
Lead was found by the FDA in all lipstick samples tested.
Old bath tubs can be a source of lead exposure.
Lead exposure can come from contaminated items and unexpected sources
Harvard researchers warn of legacy mercury in the environment.
How mercury enters the environment.
Mercury in food and products.
Mercury has been in found in fog along the west coast and is getting into the food chain that way.
This page from the NRDC has information about where the mercury that gets into our seafood comes from. Sources include coal-fired power plants, boilers, steel production, incinerators, cement plants, gold mining, and in the manufacturing of cement, metal, chlorine, and PVC (which can also contain lead). Mercury is part of many consumer products including batteries, thermometers, electronics and car parts. Cosmetics and antiseptics can also contain mercury.
NRDC's Consumer Guide to Mercury in Fish
Sierra Club article about mercury in fish and sushi.
Mercury has been found in High-Fructose Corn Syrup and foods containing HFCS.
Dental amalgam, used to fill cavities, is about 50% mercury by weight.
Mercury content in batteries.
Map shows the top 100 emitters of mercury in the US including coal-fired power plants, mines, petroleum refineries and paper factories.
More on mercury released from gold mining, specifically about mines polluting water in Utah and Idaho.
Medications that contain mercury (or did as of 1998)
CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lights) contain mercury, which is released when they are broken or not disposed of properly. More on this topic from the Los Angeles Times.
Information from the EPA about the mercury in CFLs, including instructions for cleanup if one gets broken, and how to recycle them.
Vaccines continue to be a source. The flu shot contains enough mercury that unused shots must be disposed of as toxic waste. You can find more information about the current state of mercury in vaccines at SafeMinds. Vaccines that are labeled "mercury free" or "preservative free" are still allowed to contain enough mercury to qualify them as toxic waste.
Mercury can be found in cosmetics:
skin lightening creams
mascara and other eye makeup
Cleaning up the Willamette- Mercury Pollution (of relevance to citizens of OR)
Mercury is sometimes used in agricultural products, such as fungicides.
Mercury: How To Get This Lethal Poison Out Of Your Body
Volcanic eruption is one source of mercury in the environment "(t)here were small peaks in mercury concentration in the ice core from the 1815 Tambora volcanic eruption in Indonesia, the 1850-84 gold rush in California where mercury was used for smelting, the eruption in 1883 of the Sumatran volcano Krakatau 10,000 miles away, and the more recent Mount St. Helens eruption in 1980."
"Overall, the changes in environmental mercury levels have been dramatic. Over the past 100 years, there has been a 30-fold increase in mercury deposition, 70 percent of which is from human sources. In fact, there was an exponential peak in mercury occurring in the last 40 years due to major industrialization. Much of this mercury comes from coal-fired industrial plants and from chlor-alkali plants that use mercury in the process of making chlorine used in plastics, pesticides, PVC pipes, and more."
Tungsten has been found in high amounts in some gluten-free flours and other foods.