CODA-CERVA is the Belgian National Reference laboratory (NRL) for the determination of trace elements in food and animal feed.
The major route of cadmium intake by non-smokers is through the ingestion of food. This is because cadmium is present in trace amounts in foodstuffs: cadmium that is present in soil is readily taken up by vegetables and fodder crops, which are in turn used to feed animals or consumed directly by humans. For smokers, however, the major source of cadmium exposure is cigarette smoke. In the (human) body, cadmium accumulates mainly in the liver and kidneys.
NORMS AND LEGISLATION :
Maximum levels for cadmium in foodstuffs
COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 629/2008 of 2 July 2008 amending Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006 setting maximum levels for certain contaminants in foodstuffs.
Maximum cadmium content in products intended for animal feed.
DIRECTIVE 2002/32/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 May 2002 on undesirable substances in animal feed.
Tolerable human intake levels
The Joint FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations)/WHO (World Health Organization) Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) evaluated cadmium for the fourth time in 2001 where it maintained the Provisional Tolerable Weekly Intake (PTWI) of 7 µg/kg body weight. The WHO PTWI is based on a biomarker of toxicity (renal tubular dysfunction). In June 2010, the Joint FAO/WHO Committee on Food Safety (JECFA) reassessed Cadmium on the evidence provided by new epidemiological studies available. Given the high half-life of cadmium in the human body, the Committee deemed it preferable to determine a monthly threshold for Cadmium. Thus the PTWI of 7µg per kg of body weight was done away with and replaced by a PTMI (provisional tolerable monthly intake) of 25 µg per kg of body weight.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) adopted an opinion in January 2009 establishing a new tolerable weekly intake level for cadmium (TWI) of 2.5 µg/kg body weight. The risk of adverse effects for groups that have exposure levels above the TWI is very low because the TWI is not based on actual kidney damage but on an early indicator of changes in kidney function suggesting possible kidney damage later in life. The EFSA's TWI value is lower than WHO's PTMI in spite of the fact that both values are based on the same epidemiological study. Nevertheless, the EFSA confirmed its TWI of 2.5 µg per kg of body weight in January 2011.