OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the blood and urinary cadmium concentration levels of around abandoned metal mines in comparison with a control group. METHODS: Blood and urinary cadmium concentration levels were analyzed through investigations of the dietary habits and dietary water of subjects living near abandoned metal mines (exposure group) (n=190) in comparison with those living in designated control areas (control group) (n=256). RESULTS: The blood cadmium (1.93 microgram/l) and urinary cadmium (2.41 microgram/g cr) concentrations of the exposure group were significantly higher than those of the control group (blood cadmium: 1.19 microgram/l, urinary cadmium: 1.94 microgram/g cr). Both concentrations were significantly higher in vegetarians in both groups. CONCLUSIONS: The exposure group had higher blood and urinary cadmium concentrations than the control group. We attributed the elevated blood and urine cadmium levels in the abandoned mine residents to the influence of the abandoned mine sites.