Chemicals & Human Health

Kidneys and Metals Problem Set

Problem 8: Examples of metals that harm the kidneys


Itai-itai byo is a disease found among Japanese women. Scientists believe that it is caused by eating rice grown in soil containing _____________.

A. lead
B. mercury
C. cadmium
Cadmium is found in some soils in very high concentration. In Japan, women who eat rice grown on cadmium rich soils have anemia, damaged kidney tubules, and bone and mineral loss. Scientists believe they understand some of the mechanisms by which cadmium causes damage. Normally cadmium is excreted from cells when it binds to a protein called metallothionein (CdMT). This serves to protect most cells from damage, but in the kidneys the cadmium metal-protein complex is easily absorbed in the tubules. Once inside the kidney cells, the cadmium is released from the MT protein and can accumulate to toxic levels.
D. chromium

go to question go to tutorial

kidneys and metals problem set Chemicals and Human Health vocabulary the biology project

The Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center
The Biology Project
The University of Arizona
Monday, February 22, 1999
Contact the Development Team
All contents copyright © 1999. All rights reserved.