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The toxicity of cadmium and resulting hazards for human health

Abstract Cadmium (Cd) has been in industrial use for a long period of time. Its serious toxicity moved into scientific focus during the middle of the last century. In this review, we discuss historic and recent developments of toxicological and epidemiological questions, including exposition sources, resorption pathways and organ damage processes.

Background Cadmium (group IIB of the periodic table of elements) is a heavy metal posing severe risks to human health. Up to this day, it could not be shown that cadmium has any physiological function within the human body. Interest has therefore risen in its biohazardous potential. As first described by Friedrich Stromeyer (Göttingen, Germany) in 1817, cadmium intoxication can lead to kidney, bone, and pulmonary damages.

In this article, we review recent developments and findings of cadmium toxicology.