What is Cadmium?

Cadmium is a toxic heavy metal found in the environment, and is often a result of industrial processes such as mining, smelting, and the production of batteries and plastics. It is not essential for human health and can cause severe damage if accumulated in the body. Cadmium exposure most often occurs through the inhalation of cigarette smoke and the ingestion of contaminated food and water. Chronic exposure to cadmium can lead to kidney damage, bone demineralization, and increased risk of cancer. (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). "Cadmium Toxicity." Case Studies in Environmental Medicine (CSEM). 2012.)

Why is Cadmium Important?

Due to its toxic nature, prolonged cadmium exposure can have severe health implications, including kidney dysfunction, osteoporosis, and respiratory issues. It is also a known carcinogen, increasing the risk of lung, prostate, and kidney cancer. SiPhox Health includes cadmium in our Mineral Panel to monitor and mitigate the risk of cadmium-related health issues.

How Can I Better Understand My Cadmium Levels?

To assist in interpreting results, various health organizations and labs outline ranges that indicate normal levels of cadmium in the blood. These ranges often differ slightly from each other. ZRT Laboratory has a list of Heavy Metals & Essential Elements Reference Ranges which can be found here.

According to ZRT Laboratory, the normal range for cadmium is <0.75 µg/L.

    High cadmium levels are typically caused by occupational exposure, smoking, and consumption of contaminated food or water. Reducing exposure is crucial for minimizing health risks.

    How Can I Reduce Cadmium Exposure?

    To reduce cadmium exposure, consider the following strategies:

    • Quit Smoking: Smoking is a major source of cadmium exposure.
    • Dietary Adjustments: Avoid foods known to be high in cadmium, such as shellfish, liver, and kidney meats. Additionally, ensure that you are consuming enough iron, as iron deficiency causes an increase in oral cadmium absorption.
    • Occupational Safety: Use protective equipment and follow safety guidelines if you work in industries or have hobbies where cadmium exposure is possible.

    Where Can I Learn More?