(NaturalNews) Canadian residents in the greater Vancouver area are being warned of dangerous cadmium levels showing up in landfills. An environmental watchdog group reports that some samples of ash taken from the bottom of a delta landfill are showing twice the legal limit for cadmium levels. This Vancouver Landfill is near Burns Bog and the Fraser River and may very well be dispersing high levels of leachable cadmium into the surrounding natural areas, contaminating soil, water and fish and even being absorbed into the roots of neighboring garden vegetables.
"Landfills leak whatever you put in there and it ends up in our creeks and our streams, and they're connected to our rivers, and they're connected to our oceans," said Christianne Wilhelmson, a spokesperson on pollution and toxic waste. "If you like to eat local fish, by throwing out your batteries you're actually helping to put these contaminants in the water, where the fish you love to eat live."
Delta Mayor Lois Jackson has expressed concern about the health and environmental impacts: "Everyone wants this stuff to be safe. It's being stockpiled until everyone is sure there's no problem with it."
Landfills reporting cadmium levels 2 to 6 times greater than legal limits
High cadmium levels are the result of many un-recycled rechargeable batteries and certain kinds of hard plastics and corded electronics. Regional authorities are now testing, analyzing and managing toxic ash samples taken from the Delta landfill. 19 tests have shown illegal limits of cadmium and eight of them are twice the allowable limit.
This isn't the first time the Vancouver area has shown high cadmium levels. Last year, the Cache Creek dump, from the Greater Vancouver area, also showed disturbing levels of cadmium - six times greater than the legal limit!
Paul Henderson, general solid waste manager from Metro Vancouver, is urging residents to recycle batteries and corded electronics, noting that these devices are banned from landfills.
"I think most people still aren't aware that, firstly it's not what they should be doing, and that it's really, really convenient now to manage those materials," Henderson stated.
A website listing recycle drop off points has been set up for residents of the Greater Vancouver area: metrovancouverrecycles.org.
Companies that take used electronics and batteries include the following: Staples, Sears, Best Buy, Apple Store, Go Wireless, Science World, MEC, Future Shop and The Source.
Current allowable cadmium levels are still very dangerous
A group of researchers from the University of North Dakota's School of Medicine report that even current legal limits of cadmium are dangerous.
In a review of epidemiologic studies published between 2004 and 2009, the team studied the bioavailability of cadmium in food, assessing exposure and body burden estimate, along with exposure-related effects in exposed populations. Transportation systems in the body that utilize calcium, iron and zinc also facilitate toxic cadmium, allowing it to accumulate in the kidneys, eyes, tissues and other organs.
According to population data, the team of researchers raise concerns about the validity of current safe intake levels that focus solely on the kidney in assessing cadmium ingested health risks. Their data also questions the validity of current provisional tolerable weekly intake (PTWI) assessment models that incorporate a default 5% absorption rate, threshold-type risk assessment.
Bioavailability of cadmium and easy modes of transportation into the body make current legal, allowable limits unsafe altogether. Heavy metal detoxification is more important now than ever, as electronics and batteries emit harmful amounts of cadmium into the environment.
Selenium - zinc synergy protects against thyroid damage from cadmium exposure
Cadmium toxicity is a large contributor to autoimmune thyroid disease.
A study documented by Natural News Science shows how thyroid disease can be treated with the the synergy of the combined minerals of zinc and selenium.
In this study involving rats, cadmium exposure was shown to significantly increase the relative thyroid weight of the rats. When the rats were administered a combination of selenium and zinc supplements, a significant decrease in thyroid cadmium concentration ensued, including a total correction of the relative thyroid weight. The zinc-selenium synergistic treatment was more effective than any single mineral treatment for decreasing serum T4 levels and cadmium-induced increases in serum TSH levels.