Cadmium pp 13-25 | Cite as

Carcinogenicity of Cadmium — Overview of Experimental and Epidemiological Results and Their Influence on Recommendations for Maximum Concentrations in the Occupational Area

  • Uwe Heinrich
Part of the Environmental Toxin Series book series (TOXIN SERIES, volume 2)


The most important results reported in the literature on the potential carcinogenicity of cadmium in animal experiments and epidemiological studies are summarized and commented. As early as 1961/62 it was shown that cadmium induces not only local tumors after subcutaneous and intramuscular injection but also tumors of the testes. But no increased tumor incidence rate was observed after oral administration of cadmium although in rats dosages as high as 50 mg/liter drinking water were employed. Carcinogenicity tests involving the respiratory tract or, predominantly, the lungs as primary target organs were not performed before 1982. Epidemiological studies of cancer mortality among cadmium exposed workers published before 1982 indicated that cancer of the prostate might be related to the cadmium exposure. In subesequent epidemiological evaluations published 1983 and 1985 this suspicion could not be further substantiated but, some of the new data revealed rather conclusively that the lung cancer risk might be higher after cadmium exposure. Also, in 1983 the results of a long-term inhalation study using CdCl2 showed a dose dependent increase of the lung cancer incidence rate in rats.


Standardize Mortality Ratio Cadmium Exposure Lung Cancer Mortality Maximum Allowable Concentration Prostate Cancer Case 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Uwe Heinrich
    • 1
  1. 1.Fraunhofer-Institut für Toxikologie und AerosolforschungHannoverGermany

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