Acta Vet. Brno 2015, 84: 289-295

Cattle tissues as a source of cadmium for consumers

Jiří Ruprich1,2, Jiří Drápal2,3, Irena Řehůřková1, Kamil Šťastný4, Martina Kalivodová1

1National Institute of Public Health, Centre for Health, Nutrition and Food, Brno, Czech Republic
2University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno, Faculty of Veterinary Hygiene and Ecology, Brno, Czech Republic
3Central State Veterinary Administration of the State Veterinary Administration, Prague, Czech Republic
4Veterinary Research Institute, Brno, Czech Republic

Received February 26, 2015
Accepted May 13, 2015

The aim of this study was to re-evaluate the analytical results and time trends of the content of cadmium in muscle, liver, and kidney samples of young bovine animals and cows slaughtered in the Czech Republic during the years 1993–2010, and to estimate the total dietary exposure for the entire population aged 4–90 years and specifically, for children at the age of four to six years. Analyses showed that the arithmetic means of cadmium concentration in cow kidney and liver are higher than in young bovine (P < 0.0001), but not in muscle (P = 0.227). The mean cadmium concentration in cow kidney (0.595 mg·kg-1) was twice as high as in young bovine kidney (0.285 mg·kg-1) for the entire studied period. The mean concentration of cadmium in cow liver (0.113 mg·kg-1) was higher compared to young bovine liver (0.078 mg·kg-1). The mean concentration of cadmium in cow muscle (0.008 mg·kg-1) was comparable with young bovine muscle (0.006 mg·kg-1). The evaluation of time trends showed increasing concentrations of cadmium for cow (increasing slaughtering age) and young bovine kidney and decreasing concentrations for cow and young bovine muscle, but no significant change for liver. The estimated Cd burden of the entire population is worthy of attention (10% were over the tolerable dose of 2.5 μg·kg-1 body weight and week). For more than 50% of four to six-year-old children the burden exceeded the tolerable weekly intake. The contribution of food belonging to the group of meat and meat products, including cattle tissues, to usual cadmium exposure is only 5%. Nevertheless, the food safety recommendation is not to consume cow kidney as food.


The authors would like to thank to the Czech State Veterinary Administration and the National Institute of Public Health in Prague, Centre for Health, Nutrition and Food in Brno for their kind consent with the use of official data sources. The project was also supported by Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic – DRO (National Institute of Public Health, IN -75010330).


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