Exposure Route

  1. Occupation 
  2. Eating organ meats (liver, heart, brain etc.)
  3. Eating large amounts of inorganic grains and root vegetables (e.g., rice, potato, carrot, celery, etc.)
  4. Inhaling tobacco smoke


Health Risks 

  1. Exposure can lead to Itai-itai disease (bone softening, bone pain, kidney dysfunction)
  2. Decreased fertilization and implantation of eggs
  3. Smaller birth weight and head circumference
  4. In men, may decrease testosterone levels and sperm motility
  5. Emotional issues in young boys (interestingly not seen in girls)



  1. Avoid inhaling tobacco smoke
  2. Buy organic grains and root vegetables
  3. Do not eat organ meats while pregnant or breast feeding
  4. Avoid working in battery or plastic manufacturing