Health risk assessment of dietary cadmium intake: do current guidelines indicate how much is safe?

Satarug, Soisungwan, Vesey, David A. and Gobe, Glenda C. (2017) Health risk assessment of dietary cadmium intake: do current guidelines indicate how much is safe?. Environmental Health Perspectives, 125 3: 284-288. doi:10.1289/EHP108

Author Satarug, Soisungwan
Vesey, David A.
Gobe, Glenda C.
Title Health risk assessment of dietary cadmium intake: do current guidelines indicate how much is safe?
Journal name Environmental Health Perspectives   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0091-6765
Publication date 2017-03-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1289/EHP108
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 125
Issue 3
Start page 284
End page 288
Total pages 5
Place of publication Research Triangle Park, NC, United States
Publisher U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Collection year 2018
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: Cadmium (Cd), a food-chain contaminant, is a significant health hazard. The kidney is one of the primary sites of injury after chronic Cd exposure. Kidney-based risk assessment establishes the urinary Cd threshold at 5.24 μg/g creatinine, and tolerable dietary intake of Cd at 62 μg/day per 70-kg person. However, cohort studies show that dietary Cd intake below a threshold limit and that tolerable levels may increase the risk of death from cancer, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Objective: We evaluated if the current tolerable dietary Cd intake guideline and urinary Cd threshold limit provide sufficient health protection.

Discussion: Staple foods constitute 40–60% of total dietary Cd intake by average consumers. Diets high in shellfish, crustaceans, mollusks, spinach, and offal add to dietary Cd sources. Modeling studies predict the current tolerable dietary intake corresponding to urinary Cd of 0.70–1.85 μg/g creatinine in men and 0.95–3.07 μg/g creatinine in women. Urinary Cd levels of < 1 μg/g creatinine were associated with progressive kidney dysfunction and peripheral vascular disease. A urinary Cd of 0.37 μg/g creatinine was associated with breast cancer, whereas dietary Cd of 16–31.5 μg/day was associated with 25–94% increase in risk of estrogen receptor–positive breast cancer.

Conclusion: Modeling shows that dietary intake levels for Cd exceed the levels associated with kidney damage and many other adverse outcomes. Thus, the threshold level of urinary Cd should be re-evaluated. A more restrictive dietary intake guideline would afford enhanced health protection from this pervasive toxic metal.
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Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Medicine Publications
UQ Diamantina Institute Publications
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