Cadmium is extremely toxic, even at trace levels, particularly when inhaled as a fume or dust. Less is absorbed when eaten, but the body tenaciously retains cadmium – small doses add up over the years.
The human body has no use for cadmium. Cadmium causes kidney damage and is associated with emphysema and crippling bone disease. Chronic cadmium poisoning can lead to lung and prostate cancer. Symptoms of acute cadmium poisoning include weakness, fever, headache, chills, sweating, muscular pain, vomiting and diarrhea.