Toxicity of cadmium& its effects on Humans

(Mahnoor Baloch, Islamabad)

Cadmium is a toxic metal that occurs naturally in the environment. . Humans are exposed to cadmium mostly through plant-derived food. There is no safe margin of cadmium exposure and the need to lower human exposure is desperate.

Cadmium (Cd) occurs in low concentration in all human diet and in cigarettes. Cadmium is known as carcinogen because in excessive exposure, it may give rise to renal, pulmonary, hepatic, skeletal, reproductive effects and finally cause cancer. Previous evaluations (e.g., by WHO) have identified renal dysfunction, occurring in long- term Cd exposure, as the critical effect. The analysis acknowledges that most human cadmium exposure comes from ingestion of food, and most of that arises from the uptake of cadmium by plants from fertilizers, sewage sludge, manure and atmospheric deposition. .

In industry, it’s regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and it has a very low permissible exposure level. Consuming polluted food is the main source of cadmium intake for non-smokers. As if the reasons to quit smoking weren’t high enough, higher cadmium level are found in smokers compared to non-smokers. Other sources of cadmium exposure include nickel-cadmium batteries, fumes from hazardous waste facilities, and fertilizers.

Commercially, Cd is used in television screens, lasers, batteries, paint pigments, cosmetics, and in galvanizing steel, as a barrier in nuclear fission, and was used with zinc to weld seals in lead water pipes prior to the 1960s. Exposure to this toxic metal even affects the unborn before they’ve even joined this world. Cadmium is well-known to cross the placenta and to accumulate in fetal tissues. Prenatal exposure is a threat to the developing brain and results in reduced birth weight and birth size.

Because of the prevalence of cadmium in industry and the environment, completely eliminating exposure is a very difficult task but there are steps you can take to reduce and counteract your exposure risks. Eat a healthy diet of organically grown fruit, vegetables, and meat to decrease absorption of cadmium. It may be a little more expensive, but your health is worth it. Get yourself tested to determine the level of cadmium in your body.

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29 Nov, 2017 Views: 305


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