Workers exposed to cadmium (7440439) in a metal recovery facility in Colorado were examined to assess the quantitative relation between exposure to the metal, various markers of renal tubular and glomerular dysfunction, and disorders potentially related to cadmium and nephropathy. The target population included all 19 active production workers at the facility and all 27 highly exposed former workers who were alive, residing locally, and reachable by phone. When compared with a referent population, the increased cadmium exposure experienced by these workers caused multiple renal tubular functional abnormalities including reduced reabsorption of beta-2- microglobulin, retinol binding protein, calcium, and phosphate. An increase was also noted in serum creatinine concentration related to cadmium dose which suggested impaired glomerular function. The cadmium workers had higher mean systolic and diastolic blood pressures than did referents. Cadmium dose remained the most important predictor of serum creatinine concentration after controlling for age, blood pressure, body size, and other extraneous factors. When the cumulative cadmium exposure of the worker exceeded 300mg/m3 days, the probability of multiple tubular abnormalities and raised serum creatinine concentration increased sharply. This value corresponds to working for 4.3 years at the current levels of exposure allowed in the United States.