How to Use This Course


The goal of Case Studies in Environmental Medicine (CSEM) is to increase the primary care provider’s knowledge of hazardous substances in the environment and to help in evaluation and treating of potentially exposed patients. This CSEM focuses on cadmium toxicity.

Available Versions

Two versions of the Cadmium Toxicity CSEM are available:


To make the most effective use of this course.

  • Take the Initial Check to assess your current knowledge about cadmium toxicity.
  • Read the title, learning objectives, text, and key points in each section.
  • Complete the progress check exercises at the end of each section and check your answers.
  • Complete and submit your assessment and posttest response online if you wish to obtain continuing education credit. Continuing education certificates can be printed immediately upon completion.
Instructional Format

This course is designed to help you learn efficiently. Topics are clearly labeled so that you can skip sections or quickly scan sections you are already familiar with. This labeling will also allow you to use this training material as a handy reference. To help you identify and absorb important content quickly, each section is structured as follows:

instructional format
Section Element Purpose
Title Serves as a “focus question” that you should be able to answer after completing the section.
Learning Objectives Describes specific content addressed in each section and focuses your attention on important point.
Text Provides the information you need to answer the focus question(s) and achieve the learning objectives.
Key Points Highlights important issues and helps you review.
Progress Check exercises Enables you to test yourself to determine whether you have mastered the learning objectives.
Progress Check Answers Provides feedback to ensure you understand the content and can locate information in the text.
Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the Cadmium Toxicity CSEM, you should be able to:

Learning Objectives
Content Area Objectives
What is cadmium
  • Identify the chemical properties of cadmium.
Where found
  • Identify sources of cadmium in the natural environment
  • Describe how man-made uses of cadmium disperse it through the environment.
Exposure pathways
  • Describe the major ways the general population is exposed to cadmium.
  • Identify the major ways workers are exposed to cadmium.
Standards and regulations
  • Identify U.S. guidelines and regulations for cadmium exposure.
Populations at risk
  • Identify the groups in the United States most at risk from higher than average levels of cadmium.
Biologic fate
  • Describe the biological fate of cadmium in the body.
Pathogenic effects
  • Discuss how cadmium induces pathogenic changes in the body.
Health effects
  • Describe the health effects of acute high-dose cadmium exposure.
Diseases from exposure
  • Identify the health effects of chronic cadmium exposure.
  • Discuss the factors leading to the development of renal disease associated with chronic low-level cadmium exposure.
Risk factors
  • Identify factors that increase the risk of developing disease following exposure to cadmium.
Clinical evaluation
  • Describe the presentation of a patient with acute high-dose exposure to cadmium.
  • Describe the workup of a patient who presents with chronic low-level exposure to cadmium.
Diagnostic tests
  • Describe the laboratory evaluation for the possible health effects of acute cadmium poisoning.
  • Describe the laboratory evaluation for the possible health effects of chronic exposure to cadmium.
Treatment and management
  • Describe how patients with cadmium related diseases should be treated.
Patient instructions
  • Describe preventive measures that patients affected by cadmium should follow.