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Cadmium poisoning is usually diagnosed by its symptoms, particularly if there is reason to believe that the patient
Other than symptomatic treatment, there are no good options for dealing with cadmium poisoning. Hemodialysis may be used to remove circulating cadmium from the bloodstream, although the literature on the subject is scarce. Addition of a chelating agent, particularly ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA), will increase the amount of cadmium removed by the dialysate (the fluid used in dialysis to carry substances to or remove from the kidney during hemodialysis).
These treatments are only effective for oral poisoning, and have no demonstrated benefit in cadmium fume inhalation.
There are no generally accepted treatments for the acute effects of cadmium poisoning. Other than dialysis, dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) (an oral chelating agent), has been recommended for removal of cadmium from the blood.
The prognosis depends on the nature and severity of the cadmium load. Most cases of mild exposure resolve spontaneously after a few days. In other cases, cadmium can lead to permanent damage with shortened lifespan, or even death.
Cadmium may be carcinogenic.
Long-term exposure may also result in bone defects including osteoporosis.
All work done in areas where there may be cadmium fumes should be well ventilated. Ground water and soil should be checked for cadmium. Cadmium-coated containers should, in general, be avoided. They should never be used with acidic liquids such as fruit juices. Coal and oil-burning utilities should be monitored for cadmium discharge. Nickel-cadmium batteries should be recycled or disposed of as toxic waste.
Driesbach, R. M. Handbook of Poisoning. 7th ed. Lange, 1971.
Ford, M. D. Toxicology. 1st ed. Philadelphia, PA: W. B. Saunders, 2001.
Goldman, L., and J. C. Bennet. Cecil Textbook of Medicine. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: W. B. Saunders, 2000.
Murray J. F., and J.A. Nadel. Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: W. B. Saunders Company, 2000.
Davis, R. D. "Cadmium - A Complex Environmental Problem. Part II. Cadmium in Sludges Used as Fertilizer." Experientia (February 15, 1984): 117–26.
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. 135 Hunter Street, East Hamilton, ON Canada L8N 1M5.
Samuel Uretsky, Pharm.D.
Author Info: Samuel Uretsky Pharm.D., The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit, Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine, 2005This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to replace the care and information received from your healthcare provider. Please consult a healthcare professional with any health concerns you may have.
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