Exposure of the U.S. population aged 6 years and older to cadmium: 1988-1994

Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. 2000 Apr;38(3):377-83. doi: 10.1007/s002449910050.


Cadmium was measured in urine specimens from 22,162 participants in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III 1988-1994). Urine cadmium, expressed either as uncorrected (microg/L) or creatinine corrected (microg/g creatinine) increased with age and with smoking. The arithmetic mean value for urine cadmium in the U.S. population was 0.57 microg/L or 0.48 microg/g creatinine. Based on our estimates, about 2.3% of the U.S. population have urine cadmium concentrations greater than 2 microg/g creatinine, and 0.2% have concentrations greater than 5 microg/g creatinine, the current World Health Organization health-based exposure limit.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Cadmium / urine*
  • Child
  • Environmental Exposure*
  • Environmental Pollutants / urine*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Public Health*
  • Reference Values
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United States


  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Cadmium