Effects of Cadmium on human health
Assessment of systemic adverse health effects related to cadmium
ICdA recommended biologic limit value: 2µg Cd/g creatinine
Some data indicate effects in the general population at concentrations < 2 μg/g creatinine (even as low as 0.5 μg/g creatinine). The causality of the associations between urinary cadmium and biomarkers of kidney effects in populations with low levels of exposure (general population) has been seriously challenged (Bernard et al., 2016). At low environmental exposures, urinary cadmium is more a reflection of functional integrity of the nephron than of the cadmium exposure or of the cadmium body burden (Chaumont et al. 2012).
Assessment of non-cancer respiratory diseases risk
Assessment of lung cancer risk related to cadmium inhalation
Clear evidence of threshold carcinogenicity
Methodology developed by BAUA to include threshold effect in dose response relationship.
Calculated lung cancer risk: 1/10 000 at 4µg Cd/m³ respirable fraction. (See the ICdA submission to ECHA public consultation.)
BAUA calculated the risk at 4/1 000 at 2.6 µg/m³ (respirable fraction) based on animal studies on wistar rats which are more sensitive to tumours than humans. This makes it far less accurate to translate this towards a risk to humans and explains large difference with the assessed risk from the human occupational exposure
RAC proposed a limit value of 1 µg Cd/m³ (inhalable fraction) referring to an older German study in which also the systemic health effect were addressed by translating a urinary cadmium value in an air value.
Such approach introduces a high level of uncertainty and is therefore less accurate. Systemic effect should therefore be addressed more directly by considering urinary cadmium values.