• Harry A. Smith
Part of the Biochemistry of the Elements book series (BOTE, volume 3)


The existence of cadmium was appreciated as early as 1556, when Agricola warned miners to wear heavy clothing to protect against a “kind of cadmia” that “eats away the feet of the workmen and injures their lungs and eyes” (quoted in Nriagu, 1980). The element was first discovered by Strohmeyer in 1817 and named cadmium from the Greek cadmia, which actually referred to the zinc carbonate ore from which it was isolated. Not long after its initial discovery, cadmium was recognized by Sovet as a potential health hazard with cadmium poisoning being a serious occupational disease (Prodan, 1932). Cadmium has thus been recognized for a long time as being toxic, but only rather recently has attention been given to its possible role as an essential element in biological systems.


Thymidine Kinase Biliary Excretion Growth Effect Cadmium Exposure Cadmium Toxicity 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harry A. Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryFlorida State UniversityTallahasseUSA

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