Claude Monet, Bordighera (1884), oil on canvas, 65 x 80.8 cm. The Art Institute of Chicago.

There were periods during Monet's long career that became dominated by motifs of trees.  In Bordighera, he captures the forms of trees poised above the town, with their richly-coloured bark and intense green foliage.(1) Monet passed away of lung cancer on 5 December 1926 at the age of 86.

Cadmum sulfide was suggested as a pigment in 1819 by Stromeyer, but it was not commercially available until 1840s due to scarcity of metal required for its production. Cadmium sulfide selenides (cadmium sulfoselenides) were originally commercialized in 1910.

The following are commonly used cadmium pigments in artists' paints:

  • Light shades of cadmium yellow is cadmium zinc sulfide, typically a greenish yellow, solid solution of CdS and ZnS. Colour Index Pigment Yellow 35 (PY35).
  • Deep shades of cadmium yellow is cadmium sulfide (CdS). Colour Index Pigment Yellow 37 (PY37).
  • Cadmium orange is cadmium sulfoselenide, a solid solution of CdS and CdSe. Depending on the sulfur to selenide ratio, Colour Index Pigment Orange 20 (PO20) or Colour Index Pigment Red 108 (PR108) is obtained.
  • Cadmium red is cadmium sulfoselenide. Colour Index Pigment Red 108 (PR108).
  • Cadmium green is sometimes a mixture of cadmium yellow and viridian to give a bright, pale green mixture.


Cadmium Colors—It Began with Medicine


Cadmium is a chemical element with the symbol Cd and atomic number 48.

Creatinine is a breakdown product of creatine phosphate from muscle and protein metabolism. It is released at a constant rate by the body.


 Cad has the ability to continuing to exist over a prolonged period within the human body.

  • Distributed in the organism in muscles, liver and kidneys -> binds to proteins
  • Slowly excreted via the kidneys
  • Half-life
    Kidneys: 10-30 years
    Blood: 3-4 months
  • Kidney damage measured:
    Reduced GFR
    Earliest signs of kidney damage are you can measure proteins, NAG and B2 and A1 microglobulin.
    Early still = beta 2 and alpha 1 microglobulin and retinol-binding protein as well as N-acetyl glucoamindase (NAG)
    The damage is believed to be irreversible
  • Bioavailability:  Heavy metal -> excreted exclusively in the urine = cannot be metabolised by the liver
  • Biomarker: 

    • Measured in the urine (heavy metal)
    • If seen in the blood = recently exposed
    • Women have higher levels than men



- diet: vegetables
- Oysters, crabs, snails, potatoes, vegetables, grains and chocolate
- diet: smoking, industry, plastics, batteries, mining

Particularly exposed to exposure

  • Residence close to industry
  • Smokers
  • Vegetarians
  • High seafood intake
  • Women with low iron levels, as CDs are recorded to a greater extent (20%)

Particularly vulnerable

  • People with kidney diseases 
  • Elderly due to poorer kidney function
  • Elderly people due to increased "body-burden of Cd" combined with age-related impairment of renal function
  • Hypertension = higher pressure with toxic substances

Health effects of Cd exposure

  • Renal toxicity -> decreased GFR
  • Increased risk of Osteoporosis in menopausal women -> Ammonium increases bone reabsorption
  • Lung cancer
  • Estrogen-like effect (acts as estrogen)
  • Cardiovascular


  • The provisional tolerable weekly intake (PTWI) of Cd set by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives

    A person weighs 60 kg (132 lbs) and eats approx. 100 g dark chocolate per week.
  • Calculate what proportion of PTWI such an intake constitutes if the cadmium content corresponds to the limit value.
    3. 100 g of chocolate contains 0.08 mg = 80 .g of cadmium
    A person weighing 60 kg may consume 150 µg cadmium / week
    100 g of chocolate will thus correspond to 80 x 100/150 = 53% of PTWI



Exposure levels:  Cd can have health effects at much lower exposure levels. Uptake, distribution and excretion:  Recorded orally or pulmonarily (depending on particle size)



Art Is Beautiful. It Could Also Kill You. Here Are 7 Deadly Art Materials to Watch Out For

Not every supply in the artist's studio is safe, science has taught us.


Before Our Time


Exposed to the following metals may be of importance in the development of inflammatory rheumatic diseases. (1)

Arsenic sulphide, Mercury sulphide, Cadmium sulphide (Paints, kids' jewelry)

Tin, Lead, Antimony, Cobalt, Manganese, Chromium, Neutrophils, and Fluoride