Risk of overestimation of urinary cadmium concentrations: interference from molybdenum
Environmental Toxicology. Centro Nacional de Sanidad Ambiental. Instituto de Salud Carlos III. Majadahonda, Madrid. Spain
We show here that the selection of analytical method is critical when measuring low levels of cadmium in human urine. Cadmium is today usually analyzed by Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS), which has a higher sensitivity than Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS). ICP-MS cadmium measurements show interference from tin (114Sn) and molybdenum oxides, which can result in an overestimation of cadmium levels. The 114Sn interference is stable and can be mathematically corrected. Molybdenum concentrations in urine are variable and different from individual to individual. We have estimated the degree of error which molybdenum interference introduces in the measurement of cadmium in urine by conventional ICP-MS. 268 urine samples from mothers and their children were measured. Removal of the molybdenum oxide interference (DRC-ICP-MS method) reduced urinary cadmium concentrations significantly (47.8%). The urinary molybdenum concentration in children was higher than in their mothers, resulting in greater overestimation. Our results clearly show that the DRC method is essential for reliable measurements of urinary cadmium concentrations, particularly in children. Furthermore, care should be taken when comparing Human Biomonitoring data for cadmium in urine and attention should be paid to which analytical method has been used (e.g. AAS and ICP-Ms), and especially if the measurements have been corrected for molybdenum interference.
Key words: Cadmium / Molybdenum interferences / ICP-MS / Human Biomonitoring
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2013
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.