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Re: Cadmium Toxicity

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  • susaglenn
    Hi, Here is some information about cadmium I found on the internet. I got really sick in 1994 & was tested for heavy metal poisoning. The tests showed that I
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 13, 2002
      Here is some information about cadmium I found on the internet. I
      got really sick in 1994 & was tested for heavy metal poisoning. The
      tests showed that I was carrying a load of lead, arsenic, cadmium &
      aluminum. A lot of this came from living with smokers and living on
      a truck route for a lot of years when there was lead in gasoline. My
      best guess on how I got the cadmium is that I have always done a lot
      of gardening & I was really big on using super phosphate. Anyhow, I
      went through some long term treatments to get rid of the load of
      toxic metals that I had & I got well. I am still very sensitive to
      chemicals & this is one reason why I settled on getting so involved
      with marbling with acrylics as the exposure to toxins is really low
      compared to other forms of art work. People keep wanting me to get
      into dying my own fabric before I marble it & I'm not about to even
      consider it. So be careful out there with your art work. Heavy metal
      poisoning is sneaky; once it is in you it stays there & it builds up
      over time until the load reaches critical mass & then you get sick.
      Susa Glenn


      This pamphlet provides answers to basic questions about cadmium. It
      will explain what cadmium is, where it is found, how it can affect
      your health, and what you can do to prevent or reduce exposure to it.

      Cadmium is released into the environment from mining and metal
      processing operations, burning fuels, making and using phosphate
      fertilizers, and disposing of metal products. People living near
      industry that conducts any of these activities may be exposed to
      cadmium. Cadmium exposure at low levels usually does not produce
      immediate health effects, but can cause adverse health effects over
      long periods.


      Pure cadmium is a soft, silver-white metal found naturally in small
      amounts in soil. Cadmium usually combines with other things to form
      different compounds. Some of these compounds affect the body more
      than others. Cadmium does not have a definite taste or odor.

      Cadmium is not mined, but it is a by-product of the smelting of
      other metals such as zinc, lead, and copper. Cadmium is used in
      nickel-cadmium rechargeable batteries and for metal plating. It also
      is used in some paints, plastics, and metal solders. Some metal
      containers, such as ice cube trays, pitchers, or bowls can contain
      small amounts of cadmium. Ceramicware also can contain some cadmium.
      The principal industries that use cadmium are metal smelting,
      electronics, nuclear power, paint pigment production, and other
      metal working and refining companies.


      Cadmium is found naturally in small quantities in air, water, and
      soil. Since cadmium is a metal, it does not break down and can
      accumulate over time. Burning household or industrial waste and
      burning coal or oil may release cadmium into the air. Cadmium also
      can be released from car exhaust, metal processing industries,
      battery and paint manufacturing, and waste hauling and disposal
      activities. Once cadmium is in the air, it spreads with the wind and
      settles onto the ground or surface water as dust.

      Higher levels of cadmium may be found in soil or water near
      industrial areas or hazardous waste sites. High levels of cadmium in
      surface soils usually result from cadmium particles settling from
      the air. Soils near roads may contain high levels of cadmium from
      car exhaust. Surface water also can contain low levels of dissolved
      cadmium. Cadmium in water tends to sink and accumulate in bottom


      Cadmium can enter the body from smoking tobacco, eating and drinking
      food and water containing cadmium, and inhaling it from the air.
      People living near sources of cadmium or cadmium-related industries
      may be exposed in all these ways. The skin does not easily absorb

      Cigarettes contain cadmium, and smokers inhale cadmium when they
      smoke. Breathing secondhand smoke is not believed to be a main
      source of exposure to cadmium. For people who do not smoke, food is
      the most common source of cadmium. Fruits and vegetables, especially
      grains, potatoes, and leafy vegetables like spinach, grown in soils
      with high levels of cadmium may contain elevated levels of cadmium.
      Shellfish and organ meats like liver or kidney also contain more
      cadmium than other foods.

      If a community or home has extremely soft water, small amounts of
      cadmium may move from metal water lines into drinking water. If you
      use ceramicware or cadmium-plated metal containers such as ice cube
      trays, pitchers, or bowls to prepare or store food and drinks, some
      cadmium may move into the food or drinks. Also, hobbyists who make
      jewelry, stained glass, or work with paints containing cadmium may
      be exposed.


      The amount of cadmium that enters the body depends on how a person
      is exposed. Cadmium compounds are not easily absorbed by the skin.
      When you eat food or drink water containing cadmium, only a small
      amount is absorbed by the body. Poor nutrition may increase how much
      cadmium the body absorbs. Very small cadmium particles may reach the
      air sacs deep within the lungs. If cadmium is a gas or fume, it is
      even more easily absorbed. Once in the body, cadmium is stored
      mainly in the bone, liver, and kidneys.


      Cadmium has no beneficial effect on human health. Health effects
      caused by cadmium depend on how much has entered the body, how long
      you have been exposed to cadmium, and how the body responds.

      Some workers who breathe air with high levels of cadmium over a
      short time experience lung damage and even death. Breathing cadmium
      in air does not usually cause immediate breathing problems or any
      warning signs. Therefore, exposure may continue until serious lung
      damage has occurred. Most cadmium levels found in the environment
      are not high enough to cause lung damage. Breathing lower levels of
      cadmium over several years can result in a buildup of cadmium in the
      kidneys and lead to kidney disease. It also can cause bones to
      become weaker. If you eat food or drink water that contains large
      amounts of cadmium, stomach irritation, vomiting, and diarrhea may
      result. Small amounts of cadmium taken in over many years may cause
      kidney damage and fragile bones.

      Female rats and mice fed diets high in cadmium have offspring with
      low birth weight and improperly formed bones. Low birth weight also
      has been found in women exposed to cadmium in the workplace.
      Exposure to cadmium at normal environmental levels is not likely to
      cause low birth weight infants. Rodents exposed to cadmium in air
      have higher rates of lung cancer, liver damage, and changes in the
      immune system. There is no evidence that cadmium causes cancer at
      the low levels normally found in the environment.


      If you think you have been exposed to high levels of cadmium, you
      should consult your physician immediately. Cadmium can be measured
      in blood, urine, hair, nails, liver, and kidneys. Kidney and liver
      function tests can be done to see if cadmium has damaged them. These
      tests are often done in combination with other tests, such as a
      chest X-ray.


      You need to be aware of the possible sources of cadmium to limit
      your intake. Not smoking cigarettes and eating a nutritious diet
      will help reduce exposure and prevent harmful effects. If your
      drinking water comes from a private well near a source of cadmium,
      you may want to have the water tested. Public water systems test for
      cadmium on a regular basis. If you live near a source of cadmium,
      you may want to have your garden soil tested for cadmium.

      The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) limits the amount
      of cadmium allowed in drinking water, lakes, rivers, landfills, and
      cropland. USEPA does not allow cadmium in pesticides. The U.S. Food
      and Drug Administration limits cadmium levels in food, and limits
      the amount in ceramicware.


      Illinois Department of Public Health
      Division of Environmental Health
      525 W. Jefferson St.
      Springfield, IL 62761
      TTY (hearing impaired use only) 800-547-0466

      This pamphlet was supported in part by funds from the Comprehensive
      Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act trust fund
      through a cooperative agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances
      and Disease Registry, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of
      Health and Human Services.
    • irisnevins
      Thanks for article, Susa... IrisNevins
      Message 2 of 4 , Nov 13, 2002
        Thanks for article, Susa...

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