Cadmium, Environmental Exposure, and Health Outcomes

Soisungwan Satarug; Scott H. Garrett; Mary Ann Sens; Donald A. Sens


Environ Health Perspect. 2010;118(2):182-90. 

In This Article

Threshold-based Models for Safe Intake

If the relative susceptibility of humans and animals is unknown at the time of derivation of PTWI, the lowest observed adverse effect level (LOAEL) in the most sensitive species is used, which adds an uncertainty factor of 100. Thus, the PTWI value must be substantiated by additional experimental data, and, if warranted, a larger uncertainty factor should be applied to the value. An alternative to LOAEL, the benchmark dose (BMD), has been used to derive the urinary cadmium threshold. The BMD is defined as the exposure level that produces a change in a response, known as the point of departure (POD). The lower 95% confidence interval (CI) of the BMD corresponding to a 5% (L5) or 10% (L10) level of each index of an adverse effect above the background level may also be calculated as a threshold. Uno et al. (2005) estimated the BMDL10 of urinary cadmium to be 0.61.2 µg/g creatinine (0.81.6 µg/day) in men and 1.23.6 µg/g creatinine (0.54.7 µg/day) in women. These results were based on data from 828 Japanese subjects (410 men, 418 women), 4059 years of age, who lived in areas without apparent pollution. In another study, Suwazono et al. (2006) used data from 790 Swedish women, 5364 years of age, and estimated the BMD of urinary cadmium to be 0.61.1 µg/g creatinine. Data from selected studies found the POD for early kidney and bone effects to be between 0.5 and 3 µg/g creatinine (Järup and Åkesson 2009). Using the BMD-derived urinary cadmium threshold, the tolerable weekly intake for cadmium was 2.5 µg/kg body weight, which corresponds to 25 µg/day for a person who weighs 70 kg (European Food Safety Authority 2009).


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.
Post as: