Hazards to wildlife from soil-borne cadmium reconsidered

Journal of Environmental Quality


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Cadmium is a toxic element that should be included in environmental risk assessments of contaminated soils. This paper argues, however, that hazards to wildlife from cadmium have often been overstated. The literature contains only meager evidence that wild animals have been seriously harmed by cadmium, even at severely contaminated sites. Although some researchers have reported that wildlife have accumulated concentrations of cadmium in their kidneys that were above suggested injury thresholds, the thresholds may be disputed, since they were well below the World Health Organization criterion of 200 mg/kg (wet weight) of cadmium in the renal cortex for protecting human health. Recent risk assessments have concluded that soil cadmium concentrations less than 1 mg/kg are toxic to soil organisms and wildlife, which implies that background concentrations of cadmium naturally found in soils are hazardous. An examination of the databases used to support these assessments suggested that the toxicity of cadmium has been exaggerated.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Hazards to wildlife from soil-borne cadmium reconsidered
Series title Journal of Environmental Quality
Volume 29
Issue 5
Year Published 2000
Language English
Contributing office(s) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description 1380-1384
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Journal of Environmental Quality
First page 1380
Last page 1384
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