The topic I have chosen to explore is how the metal cadmium (Cd) may potentially result in endocrine disruption. Endocrine disrupting compound (EDC) are those that have the potential to alter hormone pathways that regulate reproduction (Arcand-Hoy and Benson 1998). They have investigated widely in the literature as have the release of metals through anthropogenic activities. Cadmium is a naturally occurring metal but it is not essential in normal cellular processes so exposure and uptake of Cd can have adverse effects. Cadmium exposure can occur through ingestion of food or water containing Cd as well as inhalation. Inhalation exposure occurs most notably through cigarette smoke but also from coal burning. Cadmium can be food in food that is grown in soils containing either naturally higher Cd levels or in areas where the soil has been increased through anthropogenic uses (Silva et al. 2011).
Cadmium has been identified as a carcinogen by the WHO and is a pollutant considered to be of worldwide concern. It has also been linked to testicular and breast cancer (Pan et al. 2010). As well as having impacts on sperm quality and quantity in human males and implantation success and oocyte development in animal models (Thompson and Bannigan 2008; Pant et al. 2013). So ultimately my goal during these reflections is to gain a more through and clear understanding of the role Cd may play in endocrine disruption and more specifically on how it may affect estrogen pathways.
Arcand-Hoy LD, Benson WH. 1998. Fish reproducition: An ecologically relevant indicator of endocrine disruption. Environ Toxicol Chem 17: 49-57.
Pan J, Plant JA, Voulvoulis N, Oates CJ, Ihlenfeld. 2010. Cadmium levels in Europe: implcaitons for human health. Environ Geochem Health 32: 1-12.
Pant N. Pant AB, Chaturvedi PK, Shukla M, Mathur N. Gupta YK, Saxena DK. In Press. Semen quality of environmentally exposed human population: the toxicological consequence. Environ Sci Pollut Res
Silva N, Peiris-John R, Wickremasinghe R, Senanayake H, Sathiakumar N. 2012. J Appl Toxicol 32: 318-332.
Thompson J, Bannigan J. 2008. Cadmium: Toxic effects on the reproductive system and the embryo. Reproductive Toxicology 25: 304-315.