Abstract Specimens of heart, kidney, liver, lung, pancreas and skeletal muscle were collected at autopsy from 86 traumatic accident victims. The concentration of cadmium in the samples was determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Tissue burdens and the body burden of cadmium were calculated using individual weights of different organs as a function of age. Total body burden reached its maximum level of approximately 8 mg, in the 30–39 year age group. The highest value (8.3 mg) was measured in the 40–49 year age group. The highest average value of tissue burdens at 40–49 years of age was in kidney (4.9 mg), the amount of cadmium diminishing in different tissues in the following order: liver (1.8 mg), muscle (0.15 mg), lung (0.09 mg), pancreas (0.06 mg) and heart (< 0.01 mg). At a low level of exposure, kidneys and liver alone contain on an average 85% of the total body burden of cadmium. This value differs greatly from earlier reported figures of 45–50%.