Protect Your Family From Cadmium

Protect Your Family From Cadmium

January 5, 2023

Cadmium is a heavy metal that occurs naturally in certain soils and rocks. It’s used to manufacture pigments, batteries, photovoltaic cells, infrared windows, tires, metal coatings and electroplating, electrical components, paints, plastics, ceramic glazes, textile dyes, nonstick cookware, and fertilizers. Cadmium is also released into the environment by the burning of fossil fuels and tobacco, municipal waste incineration, and industrial pollution.

Cadmium is a carcinogen and suspected endocrine disruptor that can build up in the body over time with repeated exposures. Children are most likely to be exposed to cadmium through food, water, and tobacco smoke.

The largest dietary sources of cadmium are shellfish, organ meat, green leafy vegetables, cereal grains, potatoes, and milk—many of which are kids’ staples! Much of this contamination comes from the use of phosphate fertilizers and sewage sludge on food crops. Choosing organic varieties of these foods can help minimize exposure.

Cadmium may leach into water from galvanized zinc pipes containing a cadmium impurity and from the solder used on copper pipes. A reverse osmosis filter can minimize this in drinking water.

Eating a nutritious low-fat diet high in zinc, iron and calcium, and protein can help minimize bodily absorption of cadmium—more reasons to eat well.