The results of a follow-up study of 100 men first examined in 1953 after exposure to cadmium oxide fume are presented and discussed.
In 1953 there were 19 cases of chronic cadmium poisoning amongst these men. Twenty-four new cases are now described. The first signs of chronic cadmium poisoning could be seen after a latent interval after exposure had ended. Respiratory function tests showed a greater deterioration in performance with increase in age in the exposed groups compared with the control group. The results in individual cases of clinical and radiological examination and of the respiratory function tests showed a deterioration in the condition of those men with emphysema in the original survey, and took place despite the fact that the majority of the men with chronic cadmium poisoning were not further exposed to cadmium after 1953. Eighteen of the 24 new cases had proteinuria only.
The evidence that chronic cadmium poisoning is associated with renal damage is discussed.
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