chemical information


Chemical Class:


Found in these people:

Andrea Martin, Lexi Rome, Monique Harden

Found in these locations:

Sausalito, CA; Mill Valley, CA; New Orleans, LA


Cadmium is a known human carcinogen, associated with lung and possibly prostate cancer (NTP 2002). Cadmium poisoning can also cause death. Other symptoms of cadmium toxicity include: nausea; vomiting; coughing; chest tightness and pain; lung toxicity (pulmonary fibrosis, emphysema); kidney effects (impaired function and kidney stones); impaired olfactory function; bone effects (calcium deficiency, osteoporosis) and cardiovascular effects (cardiac arrhythmia, ventricular fibrillation, increased blood pressure). Developmental effects include possible decreases in birth weight (ATSDR 1999a).

Cadmium has been shown to cause tumors of the lung, testes, prostate, liver and adrenal gland in laboratory animals (NTP 2002). Other cancers include leukemia, lymphomas and sarcoma (NTP 2002). Non-cancer effects include: decreased body weight; lung toxicity (cellular changes, pneumonia, emphysema, edema, increased lung weight, difficult breathing); liver toxicity (cellular effects, lesions, discoloration); kidney toxicity (cellular degeneration, lesions); pancreatic toxicity; gastrointestinal tract lesions and ulcers; decreased immune function; neurotoxicity (decreased activity, tremors, brain weight changes, altered brain dopamine and serotonin levels); skeletal effects (poor bone mineralization, osteoporosis); cardiovascular effects (increased heart weight, increased systolic and diastolic blood pressure) and impaired reproductive function (altered reproductive cycling in females, testicular toxicity, decreased sperm counts and infertility). Developmental effects include: fetal death; decreased birth weight; undescended testes; delayed sensory-motor development; altered behavior and skeletal malformations (delayed bone formation, missing or fused limbs, altered facial development) (ATSDR 1999a).


In batteries, pigments, coatings, plastic and cigarette smoke. Cadmium causes cancer and is linked to birth defects and kidney damage.

Cadmium has been found in 3 of the 9 people tested in EWG/Commonweal studies. It has also been found in 10,999 of the 13,894 people tested in CDC biomonitoring studies.

Results for Cadmium

in urine

Showing results from EWG/Commonweal Study #1, industrial chemicals and pesticides in adults

EWG/Commonweal results

  • geometric mean: 0.339 ppb in urine
  • found in 3 of 9 people in the group
ppb in urine 0.7

Cadmium results