Open Access Research article

Metabolic profiling detects early effects of environmental and lifestyle exposure to cadmium in a human population

James K Ellis, Toby J Athersuch, Laura DK Thomas, Friederike Teichert, Miriam Pérez-Trujillo, Claus Svendsen, David J Spurgeon, Rajinder Singh, Lars Järup, Jacob G Bundy and Hector C Keun*

BMC Medicine 2012, 10:61  doi:10.1186/1741-7015-10-61

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Cadmium effects

Heikki Savolainen   (2012-07-16 13:03)  Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Tampere, Finland

Dear Editor,

This very comprehensive review summarizes cogently the large literature on the cadmium toxicity.

I would like to highlight one of the fundamental mechanisms of its toxicity which is its intereference with proteoglycan metabolism in lungs and in kidney. Consequently, the occupational exposure to cadmium fumes is associated with lung and kidney damage (1)

The effect on the urinary proteoglycans becomes apparent at the urinary Cd content of 3 ��g / g creatinine (2). This value is not much higher than detected in heavy smokers (upto 2 ��g/litre).

1 Savolainen H. Cadmium-associates renal disease. Renal Fail 1995; 17: 483

2 Savolainen H. Studies on urinary proteoglycan excretion in occupational cadmium exposure.
Pharmacol Toxicol 1994; 75: 113

Competing interests



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