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Original article
Adverse effects of low occupational cadmium exposure on renal and oxidative stress biomarkers in solderers
  1. Ramona Hambach1,2,
  2. Dominique Lison3,
  3. Patrick D'Haese4,
  4. Joost Weyler1,5,
  5. Guido François1,
  6. Antoon De Schryver1,
  7. Begoña Manuel-Y-Keenoy6,
  8. Ulrik Van Soom2,
  9. Tine Caeyers2,
  10. Marc van Sprundel1
  1. 1Department of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium
  2. 2Occupational Health Service, Mensura, Antwerp, Belgium
  3. 3Louvain Centre of Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, Catholic University of Louvain, Brussels, Belgium
  4. 4Laboratory of Pathophysiology, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium
  5. 5StatUA Statistics Center, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, USA
  6. 6Laboratory of Nutrition and Functional Food Science, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ramona Hambach, Department of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, Campus Drie Eiken, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, Antwerp BE-2610, Belgium; ramona.hambach{at}


Objectives Recent studies suggest adverse health effects after low exposure to cadmium (Cd). Brazing with Cd-containing solder exposes workers to Cd. The purpose of this study was to assess: (1) indicators of Cd exposure in blood (Cd-B)/ urine (Cd-U); (2) the association between Cd-B, Cd-U and renal and oxidative stress biomarkers.

Methods In this cross-sectional study Cd-B, Cd-U, renal (ie, N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase/urinary intestinal alkaline phosphatase (IAP)/microalbumin/beta-2-microglobulin/retinol binding protein and oxidative stress markers (ie, derivatives of reactive oxygen metabolites/glutathione peroxidase/superoxide dismutase (SOD)/ advanced oxidation protein products/8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosin/8-isoprostanes) were determined in 36 solderers.

Results Multiple linear regression analysis adjusting for age and pack-years of smoking show that IAP is statistically significantly associated with Cd-B (B=0.24; SE=0.11) and Cd-U (B=0.15; SE=0.07). Also SOD is statistically significantly associated with Cd-B (B=62.96; SE=29.62). The association between SOD and Cd-U is of borderline statistical significance (B=37.69; SE=19.59).

Conclusions While there is still some debate as whether the Cd-induced tubular effects are reversible or not, IAP and SOD appear as sensitive and potentially useful early biomarkers for the health surveillance of workers exposed to low levels of Cd.

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