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Biometals. 2002 Dec;15(4):397-410.

Cadmium biomonitoring and renal dysfunction among a population environmentally exposed to cadmium from smelting in China (ChinaCad).

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Unit of Environmental Medicine, Umeå University, Sweden.


Cadmium, an environmental pollutant, can have adverse effects on the human body. The kidney is the critical organ. In order to improve the understanding of the dose-response relationship between cadmium exposure and health effects, and especially renal dysfunction, a study on a general population group in China was performed. This study was therefore concerned with cadmium exposure biomarkers, such as the concentrations in blood (BCd) and urine (UCd), and effect biomarkers of renal dysfunction, such as beta2-microglobulin (beta2m), retinol binding protein (RBP) and albumin (ALB). To improve the evaluation of exposure levels in relation to the adverse health effects of cadmium exposure in the general population, a quality control program was conducted to determine analytical quality in the determination of cadmium in blood and urine and for beta2m, creatinine, ALB and RBP. The measurements showed that analytical quality was adequate. The exposure and effect biomarkers were studied in the population groups living in three areas, namely a control area and two Cd polluted areas. In the highly exposed area, most of the BCd values were higher than 5 microg/l and most of the UCd values were higher than 5 microg/g creatinine. Beta2-microglobulin, retinol binding protein, and albumin in urine were all significantly higher in the population living in the heavily polluted area than in that in the control area. Based on data from all three areas, a marked dose-response relationship between UCd or BCd and the prevalence of renal dysfunction was demonstrated. The number of abnormalities in kidney was related to the level of cadmium exposure. Only one index of renal tubular dysfunction was affected in subjects exposed to low levels of cadmium, but more than two indices of renal function were affected in those exposed to high levels.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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