Encyclopedia of Metalloproteins

2013 Edition
| Editors: Robert H. Kretsinger, Vladimir N. Uversky, Eugene A. Permyakov

Cadmium and Health Risks

  • Tim S. Nawrot
  • Jan A. Staessen
  • Harry A. Roels
  • Ann Cuypers
  • Karen Smeets
  • Jaco Vangronsveld
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-1533-6_31



Cadmium (Cd) is a natural element in the Earth’s crust. All rocks, soils, and waters contain some Cd. It is a global environmental pollutant potentially with multiple health consequences.


Populations worldwide are exposed to a low-level intake of this toxic element through their food, causing an age-related cumulative increase in the body burden (Järup et al. 1998).

People living in the vicinity of industrial emissions and other point sources of Cd release can be exposed to an increased level of Cd other than food ( Cadmium Absorption). Prevention strategies have been proposed and discussed: (1) reduction of the transfer of Cd from soil to plants (passage of Cd into the human food chain) by maintaining the pH of agricultural and garden soils close to neutral and (2) reduction of the intestinal Cd absorption by preserving a balanced iron status (Nawrot et al. 2010a). Here an overview of the recently gained evidence that...

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tim S. Nawrot
    • 1
  • Jan A. Staessen
    • 2
    • 3
  • Harry A. Roels
    • 4
  • Ann Cuypers
    • 1
  • Karen Smeets
    • 1
  • Jaco Vangronsveld
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Environmental SciencesHasselt UniversityDiepenbeekBelgium
  2. 2.Study Coordinating Centre, Department of Cardiovascular DiseasesKU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  3. 3.Unit of EpidemiologyMaastricht UniversityMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Louvain Centre for Toxicology and Applied PharmacologyUniversité catholique de LouvainBrusselsBelgium