Urine biomarker to detect cadmium exposure

Subhra Priyadarshini

doi:10.1038/nindia.2007.11 Published online 21 July 2007

Workers involved in cadmium plating are exposed to high levels of the toxic element cadmium that triggers nasal toxicity and renal tubular dysfunction. For the first time, a study has identified an enzyme and its isoenzymes as possible biomarkers to detect the level of cadmium in urine samples of such workers .

The study on 100 men working in a telephone manufacturing plant located in Bangalore has shown that increased levels of urinary N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminidase and its isoenzymes A and B in cadmium-exposed workers could be used as biomarkers for suggesting preventive measures.

Since the urinary cadmium levels are associated with cadmium contents in the kidney, the study used this as an indicator of cadmium body burden. The research team found that the urinary cadmium levels in exposed workers were significantly higher than those who were not exposed to it.


    Kalahasthi,R. B.et al. Urinary N-acetyl-beta -D-glucosaminidase and its isoenzymes A & B in workers exposed to cadmium at cadmium plating. J. Occup. Med. Toxicol. doi:10.1186/1745-6673-2-5(2007).