Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1979;5(1):16-22    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.2670

Biologically active metals in human tissues. II. The effect of age on the concentration of cadmium in aorta, heart, kidney, liver, lung, pancreas and skeletal muscle.

by Vuori E, Huunan-Seppälä A, Kilpiö JO, Salmela SS

Specimens of aorta, heart, kidney, liver, lung, pancreas and skeletal muscle were collected at autopsy from 86 traumatic accident victims. After dry-ashing, the cadmium concentration in each tissue was determined with atomic absorbtion spectrophotometry. The cadmium concentration was highest in kidney, the level becoming less in the different tissues in the following order: liver, pancreas, lung, aorta, heart and muscle. The mean (geometric) cadmium concentration of kidney samples in the age group of 40-50 years was 86.9 Il.g!g of dry weight, corresponding to approximately 2611.g!g of wet weight in kidney cortex. All values for cadmium in kidney were well below 200 Il.g!g of wet weight, a limit considered tentatively as a critical concentration in kidney cortex. When the effect of age on the cadmium concentration of tissues was studied, the same general pattern was seen, i.e., the median values were low in the early years of life and increased thereafter. In the cases of heart, kidney, lung and pancreas a maximum was found at the age of maturity, but the median concentration in aorta, liver and muscle reached the maximum in older age. The cadmium concentration of muscle showed the best correlation with age. From the data obtained from the correlation matrix of cadmium in the tissues investigated, a clear trend was noticed; if the concentration was high in one tissue it was likely to be high also in other tissues. The cadmium concentrations show that the exposure of the general public in Finland to cadmium corresponds to that found in other nonpolluted countries.