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Pollutants > Cadmium

Cadmium is a metal produced during the smelting of other metals, such as zinc and copper. Cadmium is mainly used in the manufacture of nickel-cadmium batteries and in metal plating. Additionally, Cadmium is found in cigarette smoke. Cadmium is found in some foods as well, but in low levels.

Health effects of cadmium

Cadmium can be transported to the liver through the blood, where it is bond to proteins to form complexes that are transported to the kidneys. Accumulation of cadmium in kidneys can damage filtering mechanism, and eventually cause the excretion of essential proteins and sugars from the body and further kidney damage.

Following are some other health issues caused by cadmium exposure:

  • Diarrhoea, stomach pains and severe vomiting
  • Bone fracture
  • Reproductive failure and possibly even infertility
  • Damage to the central nervous system
  • Damage to the immune system
  • Psychological disorders
  • Possibly DNA damage or cancer development

Health risks normally depend on the amount and duration of cadmium exposure. Kidney diseases and lung damages are caused by inhaling cadmium in high levels.

It is believed that 7mcg (micrograms, or millionths of a gram) per kilogram of bodyweight per week is the maximum safe level of cadmium intake.

High-risk occupations

Following are some occupations that directly involve cadmium and carry a higher risk of exposure:

  • Battery manufacture
  • Jobs involving welding, soldering or oxy-cutting
  • Smelting
  • Textile work
  • Cadmium alloy manufacture or use
  • Manufacture of materials that contain cadmium, such as certain paints and plastics.

Other Sources of Cadmium Exposure

Cigarette smoking: Both inhaled cigarette smoke and smoke released from a smouldering cigarette tip contain high levels of cadmium. Smoking is the most important single source of cadmium exposure in the general population. Almost 10 percent of the cadmium content of a cigarette is inhaled through smoking, and as much as 50 percent of the cadmium inhaled via cigarette smoke may be absorbed. Smokers have 4-5 times higher blood cadmium concentrations and 2-3 times higher kidney cadmium concentrations than non-smokers.

Diet: Certain foods contain low levels of cadmium, especially raw potatoes, shellfish and offal. However, absorption of ingested cadmium through food is incredibly low.

Location: Certain industrial processes, for instance burning coal, release cadmium into the air.

Fertilized soils: in agricultural areas, fertilized soils normally contain two to six times the average amount of cadmium found in unfertilized soils.

Legal Assistance

Cadmium victims can sue the responsible entities for compensation. Negligent employers, manufacturering companies,  food manufacturers, and even government bodies can be held responsible.

Free Initial Consultation: If you or a loved one has developed health issues as a result of cadmium exposure, you may be eligible to seek damages for your suffering and losses. Please contact us for an absolutely free initial consultation. You may submit the form at the right or contact us at 1-800-780-2686.

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Cadmium
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