Metal's Mayhem: Cadmium mimics estrogen's effects, thwarts DNA repair

12:15pm, July 16, 2003

Trace amounts of cadmium can mimic estrogen's effects on cells and alter the reproductive system of female rats, a new study shows. The finding may expand the rap sheet on cadmium–already fingered in lung cancer and kidney damage–to include reproductive disorders and possibly hormone-related malignancies such as breast cancer.

Meanwhile, a separate report reveals that cadmium also disrupts DNA repair inside cells, offering an explanation for its cancer-causing effects in cigarette smoke and industrial pollution. Cadmium is a white metal used in alloys, batteries, metal coatings, and pigments.

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