Cadmium stays in the body for a long time and is stored mainly in the kidneys, which means that kidney function can be damaged if you ingest too much cadmium over a long period of time. Cadmium can also be carcinogenic and cause osteoporosis.

Cadmium is a metal that can be found in rechargeable batteries, artist paints, electronics, old plastic and as an impurity in food, tobacco, fertilisers and fuels.

The substance is toxic to the environment and can also cause osteoporosis, kidney damage and cancer. The most common way we ingest cadmium is through food. This is because plants easily absorb cadmium from the soil. Cadmium gets into the soil via emissions from, among other things, electricity and heat production, incineration of improperly disposed rechargeable batteries and from various fertilisers.

There are rules for how much cadmium certain products can contain, for example toys, plastics, jewellery, electrical products and wristwatches.

Last published 12 October 2020