Kidney cadmium as compared to other markers of cadmium exposure in workers at a secondary metal smelter

Jimmy Börjesson, Lars Gerhardsson, Andrejs Schutz, Roland Perfekt, Sören Mattsson, Staffan Skerfving

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BACKGROUND: The aim of the study was to evaluate whether cadmium concentrations in kidney (K-Cd), blood (B-Cd) or urine (U-Cd) could reveal previous occupational cadmium exposure at a metal smelter. METHODS: The study included 90 smelters and 35 controls (B-Cd and U-Cd determination). In a subgroup (N = 33), K-Cd was also determined. RESULTS: B-Cd (median 4.6; range 0.5-53 nmol/L), U-Cd (0. 29; 0.04-1.9 micromol/mol creatinine) and K-Cd (14; 3-61 microg/g wet weight) were similar to reported concentrations in the general Swedish population. In the subgroup, significant associations (P<0. 001) were obtained between B-Cd and K-Cd (r = 0.70), U-Cd and K-Cd (r = 0.60) and between U-Cd and B-Cd (r = 0.62). Multiple regression analyses revealed smoking as the major predictor of K-Cd, B-Cd, and U-Cd. B-Cd and U-Cd were both associated with the duration of employment at the smelter. CONCLUSIONS: There was no statistically significant evidence of previous occupational exposure at the smelter from measurement of K-Cd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-28
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging
  • Environmental Health and Occupational Health


  • cadmium
  • smelter
  • lead
  • kidney
  • X-ray fluorescence
  • smoking


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