Because organic cadmium compounds are unstable, most of the cadmium in foods is as inorganic cadmium salts. Cadmium is absorbed easily by and found in all parts of food plants. In animals and humans, cadmium can be found in the liver, kidney, and milk.
Cadmium can be found in all foodstuffs, and particularly high amounts occur in organs of cattle, seafood, and some mushroom species.
Cadmium absorption increases when the calcium or iron status is poor. Acute toxicity of cadmium affects the liver and the erythropoietic system. Chronic exposure of cadmium affects kidney and bones. If people do not eat foods that contain enough iron or other nutrients, they are likely to take up more cadmium than the usual from their food. The general population and people living near hazardous waste sites may eat, inhale or drink cadmium from food, dust, or water.