Pollution Prevention of Cadmium and Other Heavy Metals

Read more about the project from the Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center.

Like many heavy metals, cadmium is detrimental to human health. Cadmium can cause serious effects to renal function, bones, and the pulmonary system. It is classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a Group 1 known human carcinogen. Many people consume far more cadmium than than they are aware of; almost all humans carry a significant body burden of the metal.

Where does cadmium come from? How are we exposed? And how can we prevent harmful exposures? These are the questions PPRC and lead scientist, Marjorie MartzEmerson, are seeking to answer.

As part of this effort, we have published an initial report, Cadmium: Human Exposure and Potential Effects. This report represents a starting point to framing and assessing the risks associated with cadmium exposure, as well as exposure to other heavy metals. The report offers preliminary answers to the following questions:

  • How prevalent is cadmium?
  • What do we know about its health effects?
  • How are humans exposed?
  • How can we mitigate risk?

PPRC’s lead scientist, Marjorie MartzEmerson, has also given two presentations on assessing cadmium risks at our 2015 and 2016 Regional Roundtables. Presentations can be found here:

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