Acute inhalation study in the rat of comparative uptake, distribution and excretion for different cadmium containing materials

Am Ind Hyg Assoc J. 1986 Dec;47(12):754-63. doi: 10.1080/15298668691390610.


Single 2-hr inhalation exposures were conducted at levels of approximately 100 mg/m3 (based on cadmium content) with the use of two cadmium pigments (cadmium red and cadmium yellow), a dust of cadmium carbonate, and a cadmium fume. An air exposed control group also was included. The rate of elimination of cadmium in the urine and feces, and the cadmium levels in selected tissues were measured at several intervals following the exposure. In addition, observations of the animals for clinical signs of toxicity and mortality and measurements of organ weights and body weight were performed. There was no mortality in the control, cadmium red or cadmium yellow exposed groups. In the cadmium carbonate exposed group, 3 out of 52 rats died, and in the cadmium fume exposed group, 25 out of 52 rats died. Cadmium blood levels indicated that cadmium from the cadmium carbonate and fume was absorbed to a greater degree than cadmium from the red and yellow pigments. The major route of elimination of cadmium following exposure to the two pigments was via the feces, with 80% being cleared within 24 hr. Elimination was slower following exposure to the carbonate. The levels of cadmium in the liver and kidneys were much higher following exposure to the carbonate than following exposure to the red and yellow pigments. It appeared that these cadmium compounds were not equivalent with respect to toxicity, absorption, distribution or excretion. Exposure to the two insoluble compounds, cadmium red and cadmium yellow, did not produce mortality and resulted in rapid elimination in the feces with lower tissue levels of cadmium than observed following exposure to the cadmium carbonate.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cadmium / metabolism*
  • Cadmium / urine
  • Feces / analysis
  • Female
  • Kidney / analysis
  • Liver / analysis
  • Male
  • Occupational Medicine*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains


  • Cadmium