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Arch Environ Health. 1994 Jul-Aug;49(4):284-8.

Cadmium in the environment of three Russian cities and in human hair and urine.

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  • 1Department of Community Hygiene, Institute of Advanced Medical Training, Moscow, Russia.


Daily cadmium intake was assessed in three Russian cities as were deviations in health of the working population and children who resided near the sources of contamination. In the surveyed workers of a storage battery factory (n = 27), the urinary cadmium content exceeded the threshold of 14 micrograms/l and averaged 53.8 micrograms/l; the average hair cadmium was 99.3 micrograms/g. Workers employed in metallurgic cadmium production (n = 16) had an average urinary cadmium level of 40.9 micrograms/l and a hair cadmium level of 92.0 micrograms/g. Workers in a cadmium-containing dyes plant had an average urinary cadmium level of 9.04 micrograms/l and a hair cadmium level of 25.1 micrograms/g. Increased urinary excretion of beta-2-microglobulin was found only in workers aged 31 y or older. The general population that resided in the vicinity of the cadmium emissions showed increased urine and hair cadmium levels; levels were greatest near the metallurgic plant and the storage battery factory. Air cadmium content and beta-2-microglobulin excretion were correlated (r = 0.96). The findings confirm results of other epidemiologic studies and underscore the necessity of reducing the maximum allowable concentration of cadmium in the atmospheric air because of excessive intake from other sources.

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