Dietary Cadmium Intake Among General Populations in Japan and East Asia

  • Masayuki IkedaEmail author
  • Takao Watanabe
  • Haruo Nakatsuka
  • Shinichiro Shimbo
  • Chan-Seok Moon
  • Hyeran Yang
  • Peiyu Wang
  • Zuowen Zhang
Part of the Current Topics in Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine book series (CTEHPM)


Background: Cadmium (Cd) is a ubiquitous environmental pollutant that has insidious toxicities after chronic exposures. Daily foods are almost exclusive exposure sources for general populations, and the staple food of paddy rice plays an important role as the exposure source. Study Aim: The aims are to elucidate current levels and future trends of dietary Cd intake (Cd-D) in Japan, Korea, and China. Materials and Methods: Publications since 1960 on Cd-D of adult populations in areas with no known Cd pollution were retrieved; in practice 19, 14, and 18 reports were available for Japan, Korea, and China, respectively. Food consumption data were primarily based on food duplicate collection or market basket methods. Flame/flameless atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS) and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) were used for Cd analysis. Results and Discussion: In Japan, the earliest reports on Cd-D in the late 1960s gave Cd-D values of 41–116 μg/day. Surveys in 1977–1981 resulted in 37 μg/day, and the estimates for 2003–2007 were 11.5–16.5 μg/day. In Korea, Cd-D of 71 μg/day was first reported in 1980. Cd-D of >20 μg/day followed in the 1990s, 10–20 μg/day in the 2000s, and 5–7 μg/day in 2011. The reduction in Japan and Korea was achieved by regulatory and technical efforts to remove high-Cd rice from markets. Unexpected reduction in rice consumption was also observed. In China, the first report on Cd-D gave 13.8 μg/day for the year 1990, and the latest publication in 2012 reported a Cd-D of 15.5 μg/day. However, there was a wide variation in Cd-D up to 41.8 μg/day during this period, which made the trend complex. The time span (1990 to 2015) may be too short for trend analysis. The study numbers may be insufficient for the vast country. Conclusion: Analyses for Japan and Korea revealed that Cd-D has been gradually decreasing to the level well below 20 μg/day or even lower. Further follow-up studies are desirable for the analysis in case of China.


Adult population Cadmium China Dietary intake Japan Korea 



Thanks are due to Miss F. Ohashi for her skill in drawing modified exponential curves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masayuki Ikeda
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Takao Watanabe
    • 4
  • Haruo Nakatsuka
    • 5
  • Shinichiro Shimbo
    • 6
  • Chan-Seok Moon
    • 7
  • Hyeran Yang
    • 8
  • Peiyu Wang
    • 9
  • Zuowen Zhang
    • 10
  1. 1.Kyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.Tohoku UniversitySendaiJapan
  3. 3.Kyoto Industrial Health AssociationKyotoJapan
  4. 4.Tohoku Bunkyo UniversityYamagataJapan
  5. 5.Kanazawa Gakuin CollegeKanazawaJapan
  6. 6.Kyoto Women’s UniversityKyotoJapan
  7. 7.Catholic University of PusanBusanSouth Korea
  8. 8.Seoul Metropolitan Government Research Institute of Public Health and EnvironmentSeoulSouth Korea
  9. 9.Peking UniversityBeijingChina
  10. 10.National Natural Science FoundationBeijingChina

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