- Metal coatings
- Some metal alloys
- Breathing air that contains high levels of cadmium
- Eating food containing high levels of cadmium, such as shellfish, liver, kidney, potatoes, and leafy vegetables
- Drinking water contaminated with cadmium
- Breathing in cigarette smoke, which doubles the average daily intake of cadmium
- Living near hazardous waste sites or industrial factories that release cadmium into the air
- Working in a metal smelting and/or refining plant
- Working in a plant that produces cadmium products, such as batteries, coatings, plastics, and pigments
- Having a nutritional deficiency in calcium, iron, protein, and/or zinc
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach cramps
- Kidney damage
- Fragile bones
- Flu-like symptoms, such as body aches, chills, weakness
- Abdominal pain
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling of the nose, pharynx, and larynx—with chronic inhalation
|Lung Damage from Toxic Inhalation|
|The damaged lung tissue (bottom) has a buildup of green mucus and thickened walls compared to healthy tissue (top).|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
- Blood tests
- Urine tests
- Hair or nail analysis
- If you smoke, talk to your doctor about ways to quit. Smoking is the highest source of cadmium intake for most people.
- Identify potential sources of cadmium in and around your home, at work, and where your children play.
- If you maintain a vegetable garden, consider having fertilizers tested for cadmium. Some fertilizers have been found to be high in cadmium, which may then concentrate in your vegetables. Avoid any use of cadmium-containing fungicides near your vegetable gardens.
- Eat a balanced diet that provides enough calcium, iron, protein, and zinc.
- Take inventory of and properly store cadmium-containing products in your home. Keep them out of the reach of children. When in doubt, check the label for cadmium or call the manufacturer to find out if the product contains cadmium.
- Keep nickel-cadmium batteries out of the reach of small children. Find out how to properly dispose of these batteries from your local waste disposal office.
- If you have a water well, have your water tested for cadmium.
- If cadmium is present in your well water, consider using bottled water for drinking or install a water filter that removes cadmium and other metals from drinking water.
- If you work around cadmium, talk to your occupational health and safety officer to find out if you could be bringing cadmium home on your clothing, skin, hair, tools, or other objects.
- Do not allow young children to play in or around hazardous waste sites.
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov
United States Environmental Protection Agency http://www.epa.gov
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety http://www.ccohs.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Cadmium compounds. Environmental Protection Agency website. Available at: http://www.epa.gov/ttn/atw/hlthef/cadmium.html. Revised January 2000. Accessed February 16, 2015.
Cadmium poisoning. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated July 8, 2013. Accessed February 16, 2015.
Public health statement for cadmium. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry website. Available at: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/phs/phs.asp?id=46&tid=15. Updated September 2012. Accessed February 16, 2015.
Safety and health topics: cadmium. US Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration website. Available at: http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/cadmium/. Accessed February 16, 2015.
ToxFAQs for cadmium. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry website. Available at: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/tf.asp?id=47&tid=15. Updated April 2, 2013. Accessed February 16, 2015.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 02/2015 -
- Update Date: 03/18/2013 -