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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2007

Cadmium exposure pathways in a population living near a battery plant

Hellstrom L, Persson B, Brudin L, Grawe KP, Oborn I, Jarup L


Objectives: The objectives of the present study were to assess the relative impact of different pathways of environmental cadmium (Cd) exposure and to evaluate the contribution from locally produced vegetables and root crops to the total dietary intake of Cd. Method: Cadmium in urine was determined for 492 individuals living near a closed down battery factory in Sweden, For each individual we created an environmental exposure-index based on Cd emissions to ambient air and number of years living at various distances from the plant. This information as well as dietary data were collected via questionnaires. Samples of soil, carrots and/or potatoes were collected from 37 gardens and analysed for Cd concentration. Results: Eating homegrown vegetables/potatoes, environmental Cd-exposure-index, female gender, age above 30 years and smoking more than one pack of cigarettes daily for at least 10 years were found to be significantly associated with increased urine concentrations of Cd (UCd > 1.0 nmol/mmol creatinine). We found a statistically significant relation between Cd in urine and environmental Cd-exposure-index in persons eating homegrown vegetables/potatoes regularly. Cd concentrations in homegrown carrots, potatoes and in garden soil were highest in the area closest to the factory. Daily consumption of potatoes and vegetables cultivated in the vicinity of the closed battery factory was estimated to increase Cd intake by 18-38%

Published in

Science of the Total Environment
2007, Volume: 373, number: 2-3, pages: 447-455

      SLU Authors

    • Öborn, Ingrid

      • Department of Soil Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Agricultural Science

    Publication identifier


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