Cadmium in tobacco smokers: a neglected link to lung disease?

Koustav Ganguly, Bettina Levänen, Lena Palmberg, Agneta Åkesson, Anders Lindén
  • European Respiratory Review, March 2018, European Respiratory Society (ERS)
  • DOI: 10.1183/16000617.0122-2017

What is it about?

The heavy metal cadmium is naturally enriched in the tobacco plant and transferred to smokers through inhalation. From a clinical point-of-view, the harmful effects of cadmium have been known for more that 50 years but we still do not fully comprehend its role as a disease-generating factor in smokers. In this review, we scrutinize the evidence of cadmium's harmful effects. We also point out recent and potentially important findings on the significance of local cadmium in the lungs of smokers. We specifically address what kind of novel studies that are needed to understand cadmium's importance as a disease-generating factor in a more definitive manner, for the benfit of future methods of diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of smoking-related lung disease.

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The following have contributed to this page: Professor Anders Lindén