Cadmium in kidney cortex, liver, and pancreas from Swedish autopsies. Estimation of biological half time in kidney cortex, considering calorie intake and smoking habits

Arch Environ Health. Nov-Dec 1976;31(6):292-302. doi: 10.1080/00039896.1976.10667239.


Cadmium and zinc have been analyzed in tissues from 292 persons autopsied in Stockholm. In kidney cortex, liver, and pancreas the individual cadmium levels are distributed in a lognormal way. In kidney cortex there is a continuous accumulation of cadmium with age up to 50 years, followed by a decrease. Smokers show a higher cadmium accumulation. For nonsmokers, the biological half time of cadmium in kidney cortex is estimated at 30 years, with an average concentration at age 50 of 11 mug/g wet weight. When smokers are included, the average cadmium concentration at age 50 is 22 mug/g wet weight. Based on the more pronounced cadmium accumulation among smokers than nonsmokers, the respiratory absorption rate of cadmium from tobacco smoke is estimated to be approximately 50%.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Cadmium / metabolism*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Half-Life
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Kidney Cortex / metabolism*
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreas / metabolism*
  • Smoking*
  • Sweden
  • Zinc / metabolism


  • Cadmium
  • Zinc