Cadmium in Shellfish from the Pacific Northwest: Status and Health Concerns (2010)

In an attempt to address possible sources of cadmium to oysters so that oysters could be farmed without concern of high cadmium levels, several research initiatives were undertaken. This invitational workshop established what are the cadmium concentrations and trends of these concentrations in BC shellfish and determined the health risks posed to First Nations from such cadmium concentrations.

Associated resources include:

Speaker Slides

2. Cadmium in Pacific Oysters (Crassostrea gigas): A survey of the United States West Coast, Aimee Christy, Pacific Shellfish Institute, Olympia, Washington (PDF, 8.8MB)

Reference/Resource Material


Atkins, Robert C. and Paul Zimmet.  Diabetic kidney disease: act now or pay later.International Society of Nephrology. 

Dock, Lennart. Additional scientific information on Cadmium. February 11, 2010.

Luo, Zhong-Cheng and Jian-Meng Liu, William D. Fraser. Large prospective birth cohort studies on environmental contaminants and child health – Goals, challenges, limitations and needs. Medical Hypotheses 74 (2010) 318-324.

Satarug, Soisungwan and Scott H. Garrett, Mary Ann Sens, and Donald A. Sens, Cadmium, Environmental Exposure, and Health Outcomes. Environmental Health Perspectives, Volume 118, Number 2, February 2010.

Shiel, Alyssa E. and Dominique Weis, Kristin J. Orians (2010) Evaluation
of zinc, cadmium and lead isotope fractionation during smelting and
Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 408, pp. 2357–2368.


European Food Safety Authority.  Cadmium in food: Scientific opinion of the panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain, (Question No EFSA-Q- 2007 – 138).  The European Food Safety Authority Journal (2009) 980,3-3.

Christie, J.C. and Leah Bendell. Sources of dietary cadmium to the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas. Mar Environ Res. 2009 Sep;68(3):97-105.Epub 2009 May 3.

Fowler, Bruce A. Monitoring of human populations for early markers of cadmium toxicity:  A review. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 238 (2009) 294-300.

Ingsathit, Atiporn and Ammarin Thakkinstian, Amnart Chaiprasert, Pornpen Sangthawan, Pongsathorn Gojaseni, Kriwiporn Kiattisunthorn, Leena Ongaiyooth, Somlak Vanavanan, Dhavee Sirivongs, Prapaipim Thirakhupt, Bharati Mittal, Ajay K. Singh and the Thai-SEEK Group. Prevalence and risk factors of chronic kidney disease in the Thai adult population:  Thai SEEK study. Oxford Journals The Author 2009.

Kawakami, Takashige and HiroyukiSugimoto, RieFuruichi, YoshitoKadota, MasahisaInoue, KojunSetsu, ShinyaSuzuki, Masao Sato. Cadmium reduces adipocyte size and expression levels of adiponectin and Peg1/Mest in adipose tissue. Toxicology (2009), doi10.1016/j.tox.2009.07.022.

Limpatanachote, Pisit and Witaya Swaddiwudhipong, Pranee  Mahasakpan BSc, Somyot  Krintratun. Cadmium-Exposed Population in Mae Sot District, Tak Province: 2. Prevalence of Renal Dysfunction in the Adults. J Med Assoc. Thai Vol 92 No.10 2009.

Messner, Barbara and Michael Knoflach, Andreas Seubert, Andreas Ritsch, Kristian Pfaller, Blair Henderson, Ying H. Shen, Iris Zeller, Johann Willeit, Gunther Laufer, Georg Wick, Stefan Kiechl and David Bernhard.  Cadmium is a Novel and Independent Risk Factor for Early Atherosclerosis Mechanisms in Vivo Relevance. Journal of the American Heart Association. 2009.

Navas-Acien, Ana and Maria Tellez-Plaza, Eliseo Guallar, Paul Muntner, Ellen Silbergeld, Bernard Jaar, and Virginia Weaver. Blood Cadmium and Lead and Chronic Kidney Disease in US Adults: A Joint Analysis.American Journal of Epidemiology Advance Access published August 21, 2009, DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwp248.

Norberg, Gunnar.  Historical perspectives on cadmium toxicology.  Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 238 (2009) 192-200.

Pan, Jilang and Jane A. Plant, Nikolaos Voulvoulis, Christopher J. Oates, Christian Ihlenfeld. Cadmium levels in Europe: implications for human health. Environ Geochm Health DOI 10.1007/s10653-009-9273-2  (2009).

Rzigalinski, Beverly A. and Jeannine S. Strobl. Cadmium-containing nanoparticles: Perspectives on pharmacology and toxicology of quantum dots.  Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 238 (2009) 280-288.

Suwazono, Yasushi and Teruhiko Kido, Hideaki Nakagawa, Muneko Nishijo, Ryumon Honda, Etsuko Kobayashi, Mirei Dochi, and Koji Nogawa. Biological half-life of cadmium in the urine of inhabitants after cessation of cadmium exposure. Biomarkers, 2009 14(2): 77-81.   ( Need subscription

Whyte, Adele L.H. and G. Raumati Hook, Gail E. Greening, Emma Gibbs-Smith, Jonathan P.A. Gardner. Human dietary exposure to heavy metals via the consumption of greenshell mussels (Perna canaliculus Gmelin 1791) from the Bay of Islands, northern New Zealand. Science of the Total Environment. (2009), doi: 10:1016/j_scitotenv.2009.04.011.


Copes, Ray and Nina Annika Clark, Karen Rideout, Jan Palaty, Kay Teschke. Uptake of cadmium from Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas) in British Columbia oyster growers. Environmental Research 107 (2008) 160-169.

Haswell-Elkins, Melissa and Soisungwan Satarug, Peter O’Rourke, Michael Moore, Jack Ng, Victor McGrath, Maria Walmby. Striking association between urinary cadmium level and albuminuria among Torres Strait Islander people with diabetes. Environmental Research 106 (2008) 379-383.

Hays, Sean M. and Monica Nordberg, Janice W. Yager, Lesa L. Aylward. Biomonitoring Equivalents (BE) dossier for cadmium (Cd) (CAS No. 7440-43-9). Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology 51 (2008) 549-556

Hays, Sean M. and Lesa L. Aylward, Using Biomonitoring Equivalents to interpret human biomonitoring data in a public health context. Journal of Applied toxicology, December 2008.

Lekhi P, Cassis D, Pearce CM, Ebell N, Maldonado MT, Orians KJ. Role of dissolved and particulate cadmium in the accumulation of cadmium in cultured oysters (Crassostrea gigas), Sci Total Environment. 2008 April 15; 393(2-3):309-25. Epub 2008 Feb 7.

Nziguheba, Generose. Erik Smolders. Inputs of trace elements in agricultural soils via phosphate fertilizers in European countries. Science of the Total Environment 390 (2008) 53-57.


Fatima Reis, M. and C. Sampaioa, A. Brantesa, P. Anicetoa, M. Melimb, L. Cardosob, C. Gabriela, F. SimaËœoa, J. Pereira Miguela. Human exposure to heavy metals in the vicinity of Portuguese solid waste incinerators – Part 1: Biomonitoring of Pb, Cd and Hg in blood of the general population. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, 201 (2007) 439-446.

Francesconi, Kevin A. Toxic metal species and food regulations – making a healthy choice. The Royal Society of Chemistry, Analyst 2007, 132,17-20.

Garçon, Guillaume and Bruno Leleu, Thierry Marez, Farid Zerimech, Jean-Marie Haguenoer, Daniel Furon, Pirouz Shirali. Biomonitoring of the adverse effects induced by the chronic exposure to lead and cadmium on kidney function:  Usefulness of alpha-glutathion S-transferase. Science of the Total Environment 377 (2007) 165-172.

Haswell-Elkins, Melissa., Paula Imray, Soisungwan Satarug, Michael R. Moore and Kerin O-Dead. Urinary excretion of cadmium among Torres Strait Islanders (Australia) at risk of elevated dietary exposure through traditional foods. Journal of Exposure, Science and Environmental Epidemiology (2007) 17, 372-377.

Haswell-Elkins, Melissa and Victor McGrath, Micheal Moore, Soisungwant Satarug, Maria Walmby and Jack Ng. Exploring potential dietary contributions including traditional seafood and other determinants of urinary cadmium levels among indigenous women of a Torres Strait Island (Australia). Journal of Exposure, Science and Environmental Epidemiology (2007) 17, 298-306.

Levy, L.S. and K. Jones, J. Cocker, F.L. Assem, A.C. Capleton. Background levels of key biomarkers of chemical exposure within the UK general population – Pilot study. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health 210 (2007) 387-391.

Panagiotopoulos, C. and J Rozmus, RE Gagnon, AJ Macnab. Diabetes screening of children in a remote First Nations community on the west coast of Canada: challenges and solutions. The International Electronic Journal of Rural and Remote Health Research, Education, Practice and Policy. August 2007.

Rasmussen, R.S. and Michael Morrissey, Dan Cheney. Effect of age and tissue weight on the cadmium concentration in Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas). Journal of Shellfish Research. April 2007.

Rasmussen, R.S. and Michael Morrissey. The Effects of Processing Methods and Storage on Cadmium Levels in Pacific Oysters (Crassostrea gigas), Journal of Aquatic Food Product Technolgoy, Volume 16, Issue 3, October 2007, p 3-17.

Widmeyer, Joline R. and Leah Bendell. Heavy Metal Levels in Suspended Sediments, Crassostrea gigas, and the Risk to Humans, Arch Environ Contam Toxicol (2008) 55:442-450, DOI 10.1007/s00244-007-9120-3.

Yamagami, Takashi and Tomoko Suna, Yoshinari Fukui, Fumiko Ohashi, Shiro Takada, Haruhiko Sakurai, Keiko Aoshima, Masayuki Ikeda. Biological variations in cadmium, a1-microglobulin, b2-microglobulin and N-acetyl-b-D-glucosaminidase in adult women in a non-polluted area. Int Arch Occup Environ Health (2008) 81:263–271 DOI 10.1007/s00420-007-0206-z . Published online: 18 October 2007 © Springer-Verlag 2007. ( Need Subscription


Butler Walker, Jody and Jan Houseman, Laura Seddon, Ed McMullen, Karen Tofflemire, Carole Mills, Andre´Corriveau, Jean-Philippe Weber, Alain LeBlanc, Mike Walker, Shawn G. Donaldson, Jay Van Oostdam.  Maternal and umbilical cord blood levels of mercury, lead, cadmium, and essential trace elements in Arctic Canada. Environmental Research 100 (2006) 295-318.

Pedersen, H.C. and F. Fossøy, J.A. Kålås, S. Lierhagen. Accumulation of heavy metals in circumpolar willow ptarmigan (Lagopus l. lagopus) populations. Science of the Total Environment 371 (2006) 176-189.

Verougstraete, V. D. Lison. Letters to the Editor [Critics of Cd absorption 2004 study]. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 203 (2005) 88-90,


Horiguchi, Hyogo, and Etsuko Oguma, Satoshi Sasaki, Kayoko Miyamoto, Yoko Ikeda, Munehito Machida, Fujio Kayama. Comprehensive study of the effects of age, iron deficiency, diabetes mellitus, and cadmium burden on dietary cadmium absorption in cadmium-exposed female Japanese farmers.  Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 196 (2004) 114 – 123.



  • Satarug, Soisungwan and Jason Baker, Paul Reilly, Michael Moore, John Tonge, David Williams. Cadmium Levels in the Lung, Liver, Kidney Cortex, and Urine Samples from Australians without Occupational Exposure to Metals. Environmental Health January/February 2002 [Vol. 57 (no.1)]. ( need subscription


G.M. Kruzynski and R.F. Addison, and R.W. Macdonald. Proceedings of a Workshop on Possible Pathways of Cadmium into the Pacific Oyster Crassostrea gigas as Cultured on the coast of British Columbia. Canadian Technical Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 2405, March 2001.


Crews, Helen M. and Linda M. Owen, Nicola Langford, Susan J. Fairweather-Tait, Tom E. Fox, Lisa Hubbard, Diane Phillips. Use of the stable isotope 106Cd for studying dietary cadmium absorption in humans. Toxicology Letters 112-113 (2000) 201-207.

Kruzynski, George. Cadmium in BC farmed oysters: A review of available data, potential sources, research needs and possible mitigation strategies. Canadian Stock Assessment Secretariat Research Document 2000/104.