Cadmium Uptake by Radishes From Soil Contaminated With Nickel-Cadmium Batteries: Toxicity and Safety Considerations

Toxicol Mech Methods. 2002;12(4):265-76. doi: 10.1080/15376520208951163.


The objective of this investigation was twofold: (1) to determine the contamination of soil by cadmium (Cd) from commonly used nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cd) batteries utilized in electronic devices and (2) to determine the uptake of Cd in common garden radishes. Under normal controlled conditions, the study utilized depleted batteries; new, undamaged batteries; and new, damaged batteries. The data revealed that the contamination of the soil by Cd was significantly greater in the presence of new, damaged batteries than in the presence of the new, undamaged batteries or depleted batteries. In another set of experiments, the uptake of Cd was determined in radishes grown in the control soil as well as in the, Cd-contaminated soil. The findings revealed that Cd uptake was significantly greater by the leaf and stem grown in the soil contaminated with new, damaged batteries. These results indicate that improper disposal of Ni-Cd batteries contaminates the soil and leads to enhanced Cd levels in garden vegetables, which can pose a serious threat to human health. Presented in part at the Annual Meeting of the Semiconductors Safety Association, April 10, 2001, New Orleans, LA. The authors thank the Semiconductor Safety Association and the Dean, Dr. Betty Blodgett, for their encouragement and support; Dr. Harry Fannin for analyzing the data; and Mrs. Debra M. Britton and Mrs. Robin B. Doss for their assistance in the preparation of this manuscript.