Journal Article

Cadmium Intake and Systemic Exposure in Postmenopausal Women and Age-Matched Men Who Smoke Cigarettes

Andrea Ebert-McNeill, Sara P. Clark, James J. Miller, Paige Birdsall, Manisha Chandar, Lucia Wu, Elizabeth A. Cerny, Patricia H. Hall, Maribeth H. Johnson, Carlos Isales, Norman Chutkan and Maryka H. Bhattacharyya

in Toxicological Sciences

Volume 130, issue 1, pages 191-204
Published in print November 2012 | ISSN: 1096-6080
Published online July 2012 | e-ISSN: 1096-0929 | DOI:
Cadmium Intake and Systemic Exposure in Postmenopausal Women and Age-Matched Men Who Smoke Cigarettes

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Mean blood cadmium (B-Cd) concentrations are two- to threefold higher in smokers than in nonsmokers. The basis for this phenomenon is not well understood. We conducted a detailed, multifaceted study of cadmium exposure in smokers. Groups were older smokers (62±4 years, n = 25, 20% male) and nonsmokers (62±3 years, n = 16, 31% male). Each subject’s cigarettes were machine smoked, generating individually paired measures of inhaled cadmium (I-Cd) versus B-Cd; I-Cd and B-Cd were each evaluated three times, at monthly intervals. Urine cadmium (U-Cd) was analyzed for comparison. In four smokers, a duplicate-diet study was conducted, along with a kinetic study of plasma cadmium versus B-Cd. Female smokers had a mean B-Cd of 1.21ng Cd/ml, with a nearly 10-fold range (0.29−2.74ng Cd/ml); nonsmokers had a lower mean B-Cd, 0.35ng Cd/ml (p < 0.05), and narrower range (0.20–0.61ng Cd/ml). Means and ranges for males were similar. Estimates of cadmium amounts inhaled daily for our subjects smoking ≥ 20 cigarettes/day were far less than the 15 µg Cd reported to be ingested daily via diet. This I-Cd amount was too low to alone explain the 3.5-fold elevation of B-Cd in our smokers, even assuming greater cadmium absorption via lungs than gastrointestinal tract; cadmium accumulated in smokers’ lungs may provide the added cadmium. Finally, B-Cd appeared to be linearly related to I-Cd values in 75% of smokers, whereas 25% had far higher B-Cd, implying a possible heterogeneity among smokers regarding circulating cadmium concentrations and potentially cadmium toxicity.

Keywords: cigarette smoking; inhaled cadmium; blood cadmium; sensitive sub-population

Journal Article.  11912 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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