Occupational cadmium exposure-associated oxidative stress and erythrocyte fragility among jewelry workers in India
Background Cadmium-induced pulmonary and renal target organ effects are well-established although its association with oxidative stress and associated hematological effects for human toxicity remain understudied.
Methods In a population of cadmium-exposed male jewelry manufacturing workers (n = 32) and referents without direct exposure (n = 21), all with urinary cadmium quantification, we measured plasma antioxidant enzymes (catalase, superoxide dismutase), lipid peroxidation (malondialdehyde), erythrocyte fragility, and surface irregularity of the erythrocyte membrane.
Results Compared to referents, exposed workers manifested significantly lower plasma antioxidant enzymes, and increased malondialdehyde and erythrocyte fragility (for all, P < 0.01). Consistent with the exposure subcategories, activities of superoxide dismutase and catalase were reduced and lipid peroxidation and erythrocyte fragility were enhanced (P < 0.01 for all) in terms of Cd-effect indicating a strong impact on hematological system and oxidative stress.
Conclusion Cd exposure contributes to oxidative stress and related erythrocyte effects thus making the hematological system another end-organ target for chronic Cd toxicity.