Cadmium determination in Mexican-produced tobacco

Environ Res. 1991 Jun;55(1):91-6. doi: 10.1016/s0013-9351(05)80143-4.


Exposure to cadmium by inhalation or ingestion is dangerous for human health. This metal induces damage to the kidneys, the bones, the prostate, and the lungs. In the lungs, cadmium can produce cancer, emphysema, and fibrosis. It is well known that tobacco leaves are contaminated with cadmium, a metal that has been related to pulmonary damage. In this paper we report the concentration of cadmium in tobacco leaves and in cigarettes produced for domestic consumption. Fifty-five cigarettes of different brands, prices, and stocks were analyzed as well as 48 samples from four different types of tobacco. The average concentration of cadmium in cigarettes was 4.41 +/- 0.67 micrograms/g, and 2.65 +/- 0.99 micrograms/g for tobacco leaves; the content of cadmium was 2.8 +/- 0.4 micrograms/cigarette. It was estimated that a person that smokes 20 Mexican cigarettes per day can increase his (her) cadmium burden by 1.4 to 2.8 micrograms per day.

MeSH terms

  • Cadmium / analysis*
  • Humidity
  • Mexico
  • Plants, Toxic*
  • Spectrophotometry, Atomic
  • Tobacco / analysis*


  • Cadmium