Skip main navigation

Major toxic metals: Cadmium

video

Next, Prof. Liao will introduce cadmium.

Cadmium is capable of traveling long distances with dust and rainwater, being thereafter into the soil, where it can be transported into water and plants. Cadmium ions can be successfully absorbed by plants, especially well by root crops like turnips and leafy vegetables like spinach. In plants, cadmium is distributed quite evenly among all tissues. Therefore, rice is the major source of cadmium for the general population.

A WHO report indicated that the foods with the highest levels of cadmium contamination are shellfish, liver, and kidneys of various animals.

The biological effects of cadmium have been studied extensively in human and animal studies. In these studies, the most sensitive organ to cadmium exposure is the kidney. Symptoms include increased excretion of glucose, protein, amino acids, calcium, and uric acid. The liver is also affected as indicated by increased gluconeogenesis, leading to hyperglycemia, and pancreatic effects are indicated by a decreased circulating insulin level.

This article is from the free online

Food Technology, Health and Safety

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education