Friday, November 23, 2007

Think twice before you have seaweed

Cadmium in your body is a major health risk. The uptake of Cd into our body takes place through food like (for example) liver, mushrooms, shellfish, cocoa powder, mussels and dried seaweed.

Smoking also increases exposure to cadmium, so does second-hand smoke. From the lungs, Cd is transported via blood, and this can cause activating the cadmium already acquired by the body through Cd-rich food.

Hazardous waste sites and factories that release Cd into air cause Cd in our body to rise to dangerously high levels, thus causing damage to lungs, or even death.

The liver, upon receiving cadmium from blood, bonds it to proteins to form complexes which are sent to the kidneys. This bonded cadmium complexes can accumulate in kidneys, reducing the effectiveness of the filtering mechanisms. Kidneys may malfunction and excrete essential proteins and sugars from the blood. It takes a long time before all the cadmium from the kidneys are gone and they return to normal function.

Other effects of cadmium, ranging from mild to very serious include:

  • Diarrhea, stomach aches and vomiting severly
  • Fracture in bones
  • Failure of reproductive system, and even infertility
  • Central nervous system damage
  • Immune system damage
  • Psychological disorders
  • Damage to DNA
  • Development of cancer.

Reference: Cadmium (Cd) - Chemical properties, Health and Environmental effects

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