Environmental Geochemistry and Health

, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 237–242 | Cite as

The influence of iron stores on cadmium body burden in a Thai population

  • Roongnapa Apinan
  • Soisunwan Satarug
  • Ronnatrai Ruengweerayut
  • Wiratchanee Mahavorasirikul
  • Kesara Na-Bangchang
Original Paper


Cadmium is a toxin of increasing public health concern due to its presence in most human foodstuffs and in cigarette smoke. Exposure to cadmium leads to tissue bioaccumulation and, in particular, has nephrotoxic effects. The aim of the present study was to investigate the association between cadmium body burden and iron stores in a Thai population. A total of 182 healthy adult Thai subjects of both genders (89 males, 93 females) aged between 18 and 57 years and weighing 40–95 kg were included in this study. The total amounts of cadmium excreted in urine over 2 h (μg/g creatinine) were used as an index of long-term cadmium exposure. Quantitation of cadmium was performed using electrothermal (graphite furnace) atomic absorption spectrometry. The urinary cadmium excreted displayed a normal frequency distribution. The average urinary cadmium level did not exceed the WHO maximum tolerable internal dose for the non-exposed population (2 μg/g creatinine). Body iron stores reflected by serum ferritin levels did not show any correlation with cadmium burden in both males and females, although a relatively stronger influence of body iron store status on cadmium burden was shown in females. When the levels of serum ferritin were stratified into five levels (<20, 20–100, 101–200, 201–300, and >300 μg/l), a significant difference in total cadmium body burden was observed between females and males only in the group with a low level of serum ferritin of <20 μg/l. The cadmium body burden in females was about twice that in males in this group.


Cadmium Iron store Thai population 



This investigation received financial support from Thammasat University. We thank Dr. Matthew J. Cheesman for editing the manuscript.


  1. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDAR). (2007). CERCLA priority list of hazardous substances. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  2. Akesson, A., Lundh, T., Vahter, M., et al. (2005). Tubular and glomerular kidney effects in Swedish women with low environmental cadmium exposure. Environmental Health Perspectives, 113, 1627–1631.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Apinan, R., Satarug, S., Ruengweerayut, R., Tassaneeyakul, W., & Na-Bangchang, K. (2009). Cadmium exposure in Thai populations in central, north and northeastern parts of Thailand and the effects of food consumption. The Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health (in press).Google Scholar
  4. Baker, J. R., Satarug, S., Reilly, P. E. B., et al. (2001). Relationships between non-occupational cadmium exposure and expression of nine cytochrome P450 forms in postmortem liver and kidney cortex samples. Biochemical Pharmacology, 62, 713–721. doi: 10.1016/S0006-2952(01)00716-X.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Beevers, D. G., Campbell, B. C., Goldberg, A., Moore, M. R., & Hawthorne, V. M. (1976). Blood-cadmium in hypertensives and normotensives. Lancet, 2, 1222–1224. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(76)91145-4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Flowers, C. H., Skikne, B. S., Covell, A. M., & Cook, J. D. (1989). The clinical measurement of serum transferrin receptor. The Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine, 114, 368–377.Google Scholar
  7. International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). (1993). Chemicals, groups of chemicals, complex mixtures, physical and biological agents and exposure circumstances to be evaluated in future. IARC monographs, report of an ad-hoc working group IARC intern rep. 1993 No. 93/005.Google Scholar
  8. Järup, L. (2003). Hazards of heavy metal contamination. British Medical Bulletin, 68, 167–182. doi: 10.1093/bmb/ldg032.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Jin, A., & Joseph-Quinn, K. M. (2004). Consumption guideline for cadmium in moose meat in northern British Columbia, Canada. International Journal of Circumpolar Health, 63, 169–173.Google Scholar
  10. Kagamimori, S., Williams, W. R., & Watanabe, M. (1986). cGMP levels in chronic cadmium disease and osteoarthritis. British Journal of Experimental Pathology, 67, 517–521.Google Scholar
  11. Lukaszewicz, E., Kruszynski, W., & Fujihara, N. (2003). Effect of age on quality of fresh and frozen-thawed semen in White Italian ganders. Asian Journal of Andrology, 5, 89–93.Google Scholar
  12. McKenzie, J. M., & Kay, D. L. (1973). Urinary excretion of cadmium, zinc and copper in normotensive and hypertensive women. The New Zealand Medical Journal, 78, 68–70.Google Scholar
  13. Nasreddine, L., & Parent-Massin, D. (2002). Food contamination by metals and pesticides in the European Union. Should we worry? Toxicology Letters, 127, 29–41. doi: 10.1016/S0378-4274(01)00480-5.
  14. Nomiyama, T., Omae, K., Ishizuka, C., Yamauchi, T., Kawasumi, Y., Yamada, K., et al. (2000). Dermal absorption of N, N-dimethylacetamide in human volunteers. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, 73, 121–126. doi: 10.1007/s004200050017.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Nordberg, G. F., Jin, T., Hong, F., Zhang, A., Buchet, J. P., & Bernard, A. (2005). Biomarkers of cadmium and arsenic interactions. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, 206, 191–197. doi: 10.1016/j.taap.2004.11.028.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Pizent, A., Jurasovie, J., & Telisman, S. (2001). Blood pressure in relation to dietary calcium intake, alcohol consumption, blood lead, and blood cadmium in female nonsmokers. Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology, 15, 123–130. doi: 10.1016/S0946-672X(01)80055-9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Satarug, S., & Moore, M. R. (2004). Adverse health effects of chronic exposure to low-level cadmium in foodstuffs and cigarette smoke. Environmental Health Perspectives, 112, 1099–1103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Satarug, S., Lang, M. A., Yongvanit, P., et al. (1996). Induction of cytochrome P4502A6 expression in humans by the carcinogenic parasite infection, Opisthorchis viverrini. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, 5, 795–800.Google Scholar
  19. Satarug, S., Haswell-Elkins, M. R., & Moore, M. R. (2000). Safe levels of cadmium intake to prevent renal toxicity in human subjects. The British Journal of Nutrition, 84, 791–802.Google Scholar
  20. Satarug, S., Baker, J. R., Urbenjapol, S., Haswell-Elkins, M., Reilly, P. E., Williams, D. J., et al. (2003). A global perspective on cadmium pollution and toxicity in non-occupationally exposed population. Toxicology Letters, 137, 65–83. doi: 10.1016/S0378-4274(02)00381-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Satarug, S., Nishijo, M., Lasker, J. M., Edwards, R. J., & Moore, M. R. (2006). Kidney dysfunction and hypertension: Role for cadmium, p450 and heme oxygenases? The Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine, 208(3), 179–202. doi: 10.1620/tjem.208.179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Schroeder, H. A., & Vinton, W. H., Jr. (1962). Hypertension induced in rats by small doses of cadmium. The American Journal of Physiology, 202, 515–518.Google Scholar
  23. Staessen, J., Bulpitt, C. J., Roels, H., et al. (1984). Urinary cadmium and lead concentrations and their relation to blood pressure in a population with low exposure. British Journal of Industrial Medicine, 41, 241–248.Google Scholar
  24. Staessen, J., Sartor, F., Roels, H., et al. (1991). The association between blood pressure, calcium and other divalent cations: A population study. Journal of Human Hypertension, 5, 485–494.Google Scholar
  25. Storelli, M. M., & Marcotrigiano, G. O. (2001). Heavy metal monitoring in fish, bivalve molluscs, water, and sediments from Varano Lagoon, Italy. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 66(3), 365–370. doi: 10.1007/s00128-001-0014-1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Swaddhiwudhipong, W., Limpatanachote, P., Mahasakpan, P., Krintratun, S., & Padungtod, C. (2007). Cadmium-exposed population in Mae Sot District, Tak Province: 1. Prevalence of high urinary cadmium levels in adults. Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand, 90, 143–148.Google Scholar
  27. Ujjin, P., Satarug, S., Vanavanitkun, Y., Daigo, S., Ariyoshi, N., Yamazaki, H., et al. (2002). Variation in coumarin 7-hydroxylase activity associated with genetic polymorphism of cytochrome P450 2A6 and the body status of iron stores in adult Thai males and females. Pharmacogen, 12, 241–249. doi: 10.1097/00008571-200204000-00009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Vivoli, G., Bergomi, M., Borella, P., Fantuzzi, G., & Caselgrandi, E. (1989). Urinary cadmium and blood pressure: Results from the NHANES II survey. Journal of Trace Elements and Electrolytes in Health and Disease, 3, 139–145.Google Scholar
  29. Wang, S. (1998). Determination of cadmium in tea by GFAAS. Guang Pu Xue Yu Guang Pu Fen Xi, 18, 227–229.Google Scholar
  30. Whittemore, A. S., DiCiccio, Y., & Provenzano, G. (1991). Urinary cadmium and blood pressure: Results from the NHANES II survey. Environmental Health Perspectives, 91, 133–140. doi: 10.2307/3430989.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roongnapa Apinan
    • 1
  • Soisunwan Satarug
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ronnatrai Ruengweerayut
    • 3
  • Wiratchanee Mahavorasirikul
    • 1
  • Kesara Na-Bangchang
    • 1
  1. 1.Pharmacology and Toxicology Unit, Faculty of Allied Health SciencesThammasat UniversityPathumthaniThailand
  2. 2.National Research Center for Environmental ToxicologyThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.Mae Sot General HospitalMae SotThailand

Personalised recommendations