Cadmium: biological information
Cadmium might be a necessary element in very, very, small quantities in rats.
Inhalation of cadmium dust causes problems for the respiratory tract and for the kidneys. Death may follow. Ingestion of any significant amount of cadmium causes immediate poisoning and damage to the liver and the kidneys.
Levels in humans
- Human abundance by weight: 700 ppb by weight
- Human abundance by atoms: 39 atoms relative to C = 1000000
How much cadmium is in your body? Find out here.
You can use this form to calculate how much cadmium your body contains. Enter your weight in either kilograms or pounds and click the "Calculate" button. You must enter a number, not text! Elements for which there are no data will always give a value of zero for the weight, no matter what you put in the weight box.
Hazards and Risks
Hazards and risks associated with cadmium:
Cadmium compounds are encountered relatively rarely by most people. All cadmium compounds should be regarded as highly toxic. It is a cumulative poison and causes renal failure. Cadmium compounds are carcinogenic and may be teratogenic. Alarmingly, the British Pharmaceutical Codex from 1907 indicates that cadmium iodide ("cadmii iodidum", CdI2) was used as a medicine, "for application with friction to enlarged joints, scrofulous glands, and chilblains".
- J.E. Huheey, E.A. Keiter, and R.L. Keiter in Inorganic Chemistry : Principles of Structure and Reactivity, 4th edition, HarperCollins, New York, USA, 1993.
- S. Budavari (Ed.) in The Merck Index, 11th ed., Merck, USA, 1989.
- N.N. Greenwood and A. Earnshaw in Chemistry of the Elements, 2nd edition, Butterworth, UK, 1997.