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Cadmium 26 July 2009

Cadmium is released as a byproduct of iron and steel manufacturing, from the burning of coal and from cigarette smoke. Each cigarette contains approximately 1 mcg of cadmium. 30% of this gets absorbed by the lungs while 70% enters the atmosphere. Seafood, especially crabs, lobster, oysters and clams have the highest levels of cadmium. If you are a heavy smoking seafood lover, you are in cadmium paradise. A market basket survey by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia in 1988 found that 41% of potatoes, 26% of carrots, 24% of wheat, 4% of lamb and 2% of beef showed cadmium levels above the maximum permissible concentration. This was due to the use of acid treated cadmium containing super phosphate fertilisers.

When in the body it is mainly deposited in the kidneys and prostate gland. High levels can cause chronic fatigue, iron deficiency, emphysema, liver damage, loss of smell, yellow teeth, pain in lower back and legs, acute renal failure, atherosclerosis and high blood pressure. Cadmium has been accepted by the International Agency for Research on cancer as a Category 1 human carcinogen.

Anyone with a chronic illness should be assessed for heavy metals.

The joint Guidelines for Toxic Metals prepared by the American Board of Clinical Metal Toxicology, the American Association of Environmental Medicine and the International College of Integrative Medicine state that “ANY test showing heavy metals deserves to be treated, if only for preventative purposes. Ideal levels of heavy metals in human tissue are zero if we are to prevent the development of chronic illness. Arbitrary threshold values to define ‘toxic’ levels proposed by conventional occupational medicine are not useful and may be harmful if the patient is left untreated.”

Both arsenic and cadmium can be detected along with lead on the 24-hour urine challenge test.

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