A urine cadmium test measures cadmium excretion from the body over a 24-hour test both before and after a “provocation” or “detox” compound is ingested. A provocation compound is one that increases the excretion of a substance. EDTA, DMSA, and DMPS are examples of provocation compounds.
Taking the urine cadmium test before the provocation compound is ingested reveals cadmium in the urine whether or not there are high levels of cadmium in the body. This level may reflect cadmium levels found in air, soil, water, and the environment that have accumulated in the body.
When the provocation compound is ingested, cadmium levels increase in the urine. Urinary cadmium has been found to be an accurate determination of the amount of the heavy metal in the body.
Cadmium is a toxic metal. When accumulated in the body either over time or a short period of time, health issues may result. Cadmium toxicity may affect any of the internal organs, especially the lungs when it is inhaled, and the kidneys and liver.
As with other types of potentially toxic heavy metals, children to up 18 years of age absorb higher amounts of them than adults, according to studies. However, studies are limited on the health problems associated with cadmium accumulation in children.
Normal Ranges for Cadmium in mcg/urine specimen:
0-15 years old: Normal ranges not established
Older than 16 years old: 0.0-1.3 mcg/specimen
Low cadmium levels are not a health issue.
High levels of cadmium are associated with kidney, heart, GI, nervous system, lung, bone, reproductive tract and liver damage. Exposure to cadmium can cause cancer. Inhaling high amounts over time can also cause lung problems.
Some specific causes of high cadmium might be associated with:
- A long time history of smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke
- Full-time or part-time work in metal refineries where smelting is done, plastic recycling or electronic recycling operations, battery manufacturers, plastics or solar panel companies, or even in construction.
- Exposure to dust or compost that is high in cadmium
- Living close to or work in a municipal waste facility
- Living close to or work in a nuclear waste facility
- An auto mechanic
- Someone who has low iron levels
- Spray painting without any type of breathing mask
- Consumption of high cadmium foods on a regular basis: sunflower seeds, soybeans, rice, leafy greens and smokes tobacco. These foods concentrate the cadmium that is found in the environment.
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