Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1993;19 suppl 1:27-33    pdf

Biological monitoring of cadmium exposure--an Italian experience.

by Alessio L, Apostoli P, Forni A, Toffoletto F

Studies carried out over the last 12 years in northern Italy on a case list of 105 cadmium (Cd) workers showed that blood levels (B-Cd) were influenced not only by current exposure but also by body burden, while urinary levels (U-Cd) were influenced predominantly by body burden. Moreover, no advantages were gained by adjusting U-Cd for creatinine or specific gravity. The urinary beta 2-microglobulin levels were within the reference values when B-Cd and U-Cd were below the current threshold values. However, some indicators of early renal effect appeared to be altered. An increase in chromosome-type aberrations in lymphocytes occurred in workers with a heavy cadmium burden. Studies carried out on more than 600 subjects from the general population showed higher B-Cd levels in smokers than in nonsmokers. B-Cd levels were higher in men and in higher age groups. Identifying reference values for B-Cd through meta-analysis studies seems useful.