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Seminar - Environmental cadmium and health: should we be concerned?
Occupational exposure to the heavy metal cadmium can cause lung cancer and possibly adversely affect renal function, bone health and blood pressure. Much less is known about the effects (if any) of non-occupational exposures to the general population which are typically at much lower doses than in the workplace. However, there are several important pathways of exposure and cadmium is poorly excreted so body burden tends to increase over time. Since exposure is widespread an important unanswered question is whether this is associated with health risks to the general population. This talk attempts to answer this question using new evidence from a large representative sample of the US population for which information is available on the body burden of cadmium and a range of morbidity and mortality end-points.
Chair: Prof Sarah Curtis
Graham Bentham is Emeritus Professor of Environmental Sciences in the University of East Anglia and was formerly the Director of its Centre for Environmental Risk and subsequently Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research. His research is concerned with the effects of environmental conditions on health with a particular interest in the impacts of global environmental change. This includes work on the effects of climate change on the risks of heat-wave deaths, winter deaths, the incidence of food poisoning and the impact on water-borne enteric infections such as cryptosporidiosis. Another major strand has been research into the health impacts of increased exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun as a result of stratospheric ozone depletion and changes in behaviour.
A new departure is work on the health effects of persistent pollutants, particularly cadmium. Recently he has begun research into the effects of environmental factors on physical activity and obesity. Together with colleagues from UEA and Cambridge he was part of the successful bid to establish a UKCRC Centre of Excellence in Diet and Physical Activity Public Health Research commencing in 2008. He was Co-Chair of the MRC-NERC Cooperative Group on Climate Change, Ozone Depletion and Health, a member of the DETR Ultraviolet Measurements and Monitoring Review Group and of the Department of Health Expert Group on the Health Effects of Climate Change in the UK.
Please contact the Chair of this seminar if you are interested in meeting the speaker.