On Prabhupada’s Cadmium Poisoning

Damaghosa Dasa - 24.8 2017

Excerpted from Chapter 32: Part Four: The Forensics Breakthrough, in Kill Guru, Become Guru: The Poisoning of Srila Prabhupada’s Body.

(Free E-Book available for quick download from: www.killgurubecomeguru.org/books/)

Second Expert Opinion: Dr. Anil Aggarwal (Forensic Toxicologist)

While browsing the internet for sites related to cadmium poisoning, I came across a colorful character, a Dr. Anil Aggarwal in New Delhi who is a Forensic Toxicologist. A Professor of Forensic Medicine at Maulana Azad Medical College since 1985, he specializes in solving mysterious and unexplained deaths, and is an expert in poisons. His website chronicles many of the bizarre cases he has unraveled, including one of acute cadmium poisoning. Dr. Aggarwal also maintains an Internet Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology and an Internet Journal of Book Reviews.

Contacting him about our investigation, he agreed to review our case. I sent him a medical symptoms summary and detailed the discovery of cadmium in new hair tests. One of our team members was about to leave for India on another fact-finding mission, and I arranged for him to see the professor in person and to bring a copy of Someone Has Poisoned Me. In early May 2002, we had some very productive meetings with Dr. Aggarwal and a half dozen of his associates, all top university scientists in toxicology and medicine. The particulars of Srila Prabhupada’s case were presented, discussed, and analyzed. Dr. Aggarwal rendered his professional opinion:

“Cadmium 20 ppm in hair is prima facie evidence of poisoning with malicious intent.”


Third Expert Opinion: Dr. Dipankar Chakraborti (Director Of Environmental Studies, Jadavpur University, India)

Dr. Dipankar Chakraborti was in 2002 at the head of the arsenic crisis in Bengal, imminently qualified in heavy metals poisoning, hair analysis, and heavy metals intoxication. He elaborated that his field of expertise included poisoning by mercury, antimony, arsenic, and cadmium.

He was interviewed in India by a team member of the Truth Committee in April 2002. Asked what he thought would be the significance of a person having a hair level of 20 ppm cadmium. His reply was:

“He will be finished. He can’t survive more than three, four days.”

Yet Srila Prabhupada survived for at least nine months with such high cadmium levels – only by dint of the will of the Lord and due to endowment with all the mystic yoga perfections. Srila Prabhupada was not an ordinary person but a topmost yogi. Surely the poisoners were wondering why these massive amounts of poison were not having the expected results on time.

Dr. Dipankar’s recent activities in brief:

Visiting Faculty, Big Data Analytics Programme, S.P. Jain Institute of Global Management, Mumbai, 2015-2016
Visiting Faculty, CSE Department, NIT Mizoram, 2014-2015
Assistant Professor, CSE Dept, NIT Meghalaya, 2012-2014
Visiting Research Scholar, Precision and Intelligence (P&I) Laboratory, Advanced Information Processing Division: Okumura Group, Tokyo Institute of Technology (TIT), Tokyo, 2011
Research Fellow, India-Japan Cooperative Programme-Project (DST-JST), Multidisciplinary research field on “Sentiment Analysis where AI meets Psychology” 2010-2012, CSE Department, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India-700032
Research Engineer, DIT, MCIT, Government of India sponsored project titled “Development of the Cross-Lingual Information Access (CLIA) System” 2009-2010, CSE Department, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India-700032
Visiting Faculty, CSE Department, GCETTS, 2008-2009


Fourth Expert Opinion: Dr. A. Chatt (Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia)

In 1998 we had used Dr. A. Chatt in Halifax for testing our first hair sample, ND-1. He uses neutron activation analysis, although his equipment has lesser accuracy on very small mass samples than Dr. Morris in Missouri. Dr. Chatt remarked upon the near 20 ppm cadmium found in Srila Prabhupada’s hair by his friend and colleague Dr. Morris:

“The level of 20 ppm seems to be very high if external contamination is ruled out. I have done thousands of hair tests over many years and will sometimes see at most 2 ppm cadmium.”

Such a high level was so unusual that his first reaction was about what kinds of hair shampoos, creams, or compounds might have caused external contamination of the hair. We replied: “None of these things were ever used.” 

Dr. Amares Chatt: Some of his research interests:
Development of Nuclear Analytical Methods: Instrumental thermal, epithermal and fast neutron activation analysis; Studies on very short lived neutron activation products and cyclic and pseudo-cyclic neutron activation analysis; Methods to correct for coincidence losses and high count-rate gamma-ray spectroscopy; Compton suppression gamma-ray spectroscopy; Preconcentration neutron activation analysis; Radiochemical neutron activation analysis; Derivative neutron activation analysis; etc.

Development of Speciation Methods: Ultrafiltration; Ion exchange; Solvent extraction; Coprecipitation; Electro-migration; Ammonium sulfate precipitation; Gel filtration chromatography; hydroxylapatite chromatography; Reversed-phase extraction chromatography; High-performance liquid chromatography; Chromatofocussing; Electrophoresis; Electrofocusing; Isotachophoresis; Analytical ultracentrifugation; Enzymatic assay; Cloud-point extraction; Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy; Mass spectrometry; etc.

Environmental Chemistry: Marine Chemistry: Development of analytical methods for the determination of total and species-specific concentrations of toxic elemental pollutants in the particulate and soluble fractions of water from estuaries, coasts and open oceans; and studies on sources, pathways and sinks of toxic elements and their residence times in marine environment.

Atmospheric Chemistry: Development of nuclear analytical and speciation methods for the simultaneous determination of trace elements in both high-volume and size-fractionated atmospheric suspended particulate matter, dry deposition (i.e. dust fall), particulate and soluble fractions of wet deposition (i.e. acid rain, acid fog, cloud and snow); identification of sources using size and concentration correlation, enrichment factor and modelling techniques; studies on fossil fuels and their waste products; and long-range transport of toxic elements in atmosphere.

Health-Related Chemistry: Nutritional Chemistry: Determination of trace elements of nutritional and toxicological significance in individual food items, composite foods and duplicate diets; calculation of average daily dietary intakes; studies on bioavailability of trace elements in foods and diets by in vitro enzymolysis; and identification of the bioavailable species.

Drinking Water Quality: Development of preconcentration neutron activation analysis methods for the determination of ultra-trace levels of toxic elements in drinking water; survey of the quality of local drinking water from taps, wells, rivers and bottles.

Epidemiological Monitors: Studies on suitability of human scalp hair and nail as epidemiologic monitors of toxic elements; investigations on relationship of elemental levels in hair and internal tissues of humans using autopsy and biopsy samples and of animal models; and screening of population groups for massive ingestion of selected toxic metals using hair.

Bioanalytical Chemistry: Development of bioanalytical methods, viz. biochemical methods in conjunction with neutron activation, for the separation, purification and characterization of metalloproteins and protein bound trace elements in subcellular fractions of bovine kidneys; in-depth studies on selenoproteins in nuclei and cytosol fractions of bovine kidneys; and investigations of bioavailable seleno-enzymes and seleno-amino acids in foods and diets.

Radioactive Waste Management: Evaluation of the risk associated with the potential disposal of high-level nuclear wastes in deep geologic and sub-seabed formations; analytical chemistry of radioactive waste management; leaching of radionuclides from vitrified highly active wastes by groundwater; diffusion of radionuclides in sediments; speciation of radionuclides in geological repositories; and identification of potentially migrating radionuclide species and calculation of their stability constants.

Production of Radioisotopes: Production of short- and medium-lived radioisotopes for medical and research purposes using the Dalhousie University SLOWPOKE-2 reactor (DUSR) facility.

Training in Research Reactors: Training in the use of small research reactors, such as Canadian SLOWPOKE, Chinese MNSR, etc., for research and educational purposes.

COMMENT: Mustard seed oil was used to massage Srila Prabhupada daily, but it does not have cadmium to any meaningful degree. Otherwise, Srila Prabhupada used no cosmetics, shampoos, etc that could possibly have caused external cadmium contamination of the hair. The containers in which the hair samples were stored were tested by Dr. Morris and found to have no contamination of cadmium. 

Later we will show how the hair clippers themselves were tested for cadmium plating- and the results were negative. The clippers’ lubricating oil has no arsenic, according to Shell Oil, and we would assume no cadmium either. So how could there be such high levels of external contamination in three samples? Our conclusion is that the cadmium was NOT EXOGENOUS but endogenous, or internally assimilated by poisoning.


Fifth Expert Opinion: Arl Labs (Analytical Research Labs, Phoenix, Arizona)

Analytical Research Labs does commercial hair analyses for individuals, doctors, and clinics. The Standard Industrial Classification(SIC) of Analytical Research Labs is 807101 – Laboratories-Medical. A medical laboratory or clinical laboratory is a laboratory where tests are done on clinical specimens in order to get information about the health of a patient as pertaining to the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. They are perhaps the largest such outfit in the US (as of 2004), and have a very professional and respected performance rating. As of 2003, they were doing 35,000 hair tests annually. President Kenneth Paul C. Eck was interviewed by myself in 2004; as of 2017 he had been in operation for almost 4 decades. He proved very helpful by disclosing these facts derived from their hair mineral analysis operation:

1. They rarely see cadmium levels over 1 ppm, 
2. That the usual range was from 0.02 – 0.10 ppm (or an average 0.06 ppm). 
3. And that: “20 ppm was off the chart.”  

We also spoke to Russ Madarash, ARL’s head chemist, who confirmed that:
1. Values are usually under 0.10 ppm (1/10th of 1),
2. That their “red alert level” is 2 ppm, which would require a second test to verify such an elevated amount, 
3. The highest value that he could remember was 4 ppm.

So at 35,000 tests a year and after many years of such operation, we can say that out of perhaps several hundred thousand people, one ARL client had 4 ppm hair cadmium, while no one had the levels we found in Srila Prabhupada’s hair. Thus Srila Prabhupada’s cadmium levels were “OFF THE CHART.”

Nityananda das used ARL several times to check his hair for environmental contamination, such as due to dust from lead paint. In 1998, after sanding antique window frames by hand and without a dust mask, he remembered that old paints were often made with lead, so he did a hair test with ARL. Sure enough, the lead was quite elevated, and he gained confidence in the accuracy of commercial hair testing. He noted also that ARL’s president and head chemist, when interviewed separately, both confirmed the same levels of what their clients’ average normal hair cadmium levels had been. 
Website: www.arltma.com


Sixth Expert Opinion: Dr. Mehta (Ayurvedic Physician)

Dr. Metha, an Ayurvedic physician from Houston, Texas, was shown in 1998 several photographs of Srila Prabhupada during his last days, and he also watched the video documentary of Srila Prabhupada's last months entitled: "The Final Lesson." Dr. Mehta had been a practicing Ayurvedic physician since 1948. His summary comments edited from a recorded interview are:

"The expression and symptoms of the face, the eyes and the manner of speaking indicate to me that Srila Prabhupada was poisoned, most probably by arsenic or mercury. He himself said that he was poisoned, confirmed by dullness of the face and how the natural color of the body is gone. This is very hard for the average person to understand; only the experienced eye can tell." 

Seventh Expert Opinion: Scientific Studies (Scientific Literature On Cadmium Poisoning)

What Are Average Normal Cadmium Levels?

Published scientific studies are accepted as presentation of scientific facts by experts. So exactly what do scientific studies show to be the average normal level of cadmium in human hair? Below is a large cross section of studies separated into unexposed subjects and those working or living in environmentally or occupationally contaminated situations. I collected the findings of numerous authoritative sources.

We note that even the levels of persons exposed occupationally, environmentally, or accidentally to abnormal cadmium amounts are also far below the levels seen in Srila Prabhupada’s hair, being a fraction one ONE PPM.

Cadmium Unexposed Subject Studies:

Laurie Miller at the Center for Disease Control (888 422 8737) mailed us their thick manual on cadmium poisoning, which put the average and normal amount of hair cadmium at 0.07* ppm(Sharma, et al, 1982).
Analytical Research Laboratories (see above) of Phoenix, AZ disclosed through their president Kenneth Eck that in their hair analyses for their clients the usual range for cadmium levels was from 0.02 – 0.10 ppm (or an average of 0.06* ppm).
Dr. J. R. Montonte of Trace Minerals International in Cleveland uses an acceptable range for hair cadmium of 0.0 – 0.75 ppm (normal 0.10* ppm).
Dr. Max Sutton from Hill Laboratories in California uses a reference range for cadmium in hair of 0.0 – 0.15 ppm (or an average of 0.075* ppm).
A 1994 study by Wolfsperger M, et al of 79 healthy adults in Vienna & Rome found an average of 0.038* ppm cadmium in non-smoker’s hair and 0.075 ppm in smoker’s hair.
A study in 1999 by Liu XJ in Japan compared hair cadmium of 0.109 ppm in residents of a cadmium polluted area in 1979 to lower levels of 0.055* ppm in 1999 after environmental cleanup by soil replacement.
A study in 1988 by Wilhelm M, et al in Germany of school children in different areas from hair cadmium levels ranging from 0.0637 to 0.1161 parts per million (his average was 0.0745* ppm)
A 1990 study by Wilhelm M, et al at Germany’s Institute of Toxicology measured cadmium hair levels to be normal at 0.060–0.085 ppm. (average 0.072* ppm)
A study in 1991 by Wilhelm M, et al in Germany found young children to have an average of 0.09* ppm hair cadmium in their hair.
A study in 2003 by Benes B, Sladka J, et al in Czech Republic measured cadmium levels in the hair of 3556 children averaging 10 years of age. The medium amount of cadmium was 0.14* ppm.
A study in 2003 in Slovenia by Erzen I, et al measured the median cadmium content in the hair of 245 random young men to be only 0.004* ppm.
A study in 1994 by Wilhelm M, et al in Germany found 0.111* ppm cadmium in the hair of a control group of children.
A 1991 hair cadmium study by Bosque MA, et al in Spain of 226 children compared average results from an industrial area (0.327 ppm) with a rural area 0.002* ppm. The industrial area values are not included in this average.
A study of 5846 healthy Japanese showed average cadmium in both men and women to be 0.028* ppm. (Yoshikazu, Yoshio, 2005).
The levels of cadmium in the hair samples were above the reference values of various countries: Italy is 0.03 mg/kg or 0.03 ppm. (2012, F.I. Abdulrahman)
The levels of cadmium in the hair samples were above the reference values of various countries: England 0.11 mg/kg or 0.11 ppm. (2012, F.I. Abdulrahman)
The levels of cadmium in the hair samples were above the reference values of various countries: Japan 0.05 mg/kg or 0.05 ppm. (2012, F.I. Abdulrahman)


There are 17 studies above which ascertain an “average normal” amount of hair cadmium that is found in “normal,” unexposed persons. There are variations in these amounts due to location, environment, nearby industries, and other factors. We calculated an average of the studies of normal values for both exposed and unexposed persons, and this approach disallows any criticism that selective studies were used to push the figures up or down. We call this the “AVERAGE NORMAL”-we could “cherry-pick” the lowest value studies like the GBC author did when he chose the two unusually high arsenic studies in Mexico City and Glasgow, but that would not be honest, so an average of many studies is more accurate.

That average of normal cadmium in human hair comes to 0.065 ppm, about one sixteenth of one part per million. This is about half of the average normal arsenic hair levels. Srila Prabhupada’s 1977 cadmium levels as found in hair samples D, A, and Q-2 with 12.4 to19.9 ppm comes to an average of 15.73 ppm.

Srila Prabhupada thus had about 190 to 306 times more than the average normal amount of hair cadmium, and that was over a period of many months. The average is 242 times above average normal.

Clearly, Srila Prabhupada’s cadmium poisoning was very, very serious. As shown by the expert opinions, this is a lethal amount over a short period of time.


The interesting value of these tests is how closely they conformed to the “average normal.”

On August 5, 2005, Nityananda das had his own hair tested by Doctor’s Data through his personal physician in the course of a general physical check-up. The cadmium results were exactly in the ballpark for normal:0.067 ppm. When he and his wife I had their hair tested a few years earlier, they both had cadmium levels of 0.10 ppm, although other mineral levels differed significantly.


(1). A 1989 study by Bergomi M, Borella P, et al in Italy looked at 142 children in an industrial area, finding average hair cadmium of 0.17 ppm.

(2). A 1994 study by Muller M, Anke M in Germany noted that a factory had extensive cadmium emissions since 1960, resulting in the local residents acquiring high hair cadmium levels that averaged 0.389 ppm.

(3). A 1995 study by Chlopicka J, et al in Poland examined exposure of children in both industrial and rural areas to cadmium, finding average hair levels of 0.43 ppm.

(4). A 1996 study by Kasnia-Kocot J, et al in Poland examined the hair cadmium levels of 69 children living in “the most polluted district” of Chorzow, finding average levels of 0.44 ppm in girls… (continued)

(5). and 0.91 ppm in boys.

(6). A 1996 study by Zaborowska W, et al in Poland found 0.31 ppm of hair cadmium in 157 children, including those living in high exposure areas.

(7). A 1997 study by Zaborowska W, et al in Poland found 0.37 ppm hair cadmium in another group of exposed school children.

(8). A 1998 study by Chlopick J, et al in Poland found 0.91 ppm hair cadmium in children from a highly industrialized and contaminated area.

(9). A 1991 hair cadmium study by Bosque MA, et al in Spain of 226 children compared average results from an industrial area (0.327 ppm) with a rural area (0.002 ppm). The rural values are not included in this exposed average calculation.

(10). A study in 1994 by Wilhelm M, et al in Germany found 0.111 ppm cadmium in the hair of a control group of children and 0.265 ppm in another group of children who were known to have had high exposure to cadmium. The fathers of all these children averaged 0.068 ppm (0.048 to 0.088) cadmium. Children usually have higher Cd levels than adults.

(11). A study in 1999 by Liu XJ in Japan compared hair cadmium of 0.109 ppm in residents of a cadmium polluted area in 1979 to lower levels of 0.055 ppm in 1999 after environmental cleanup by soil replacement.

(12). A 1991 hair cadmium study by Bosque MA, et al in Spain of 226 children compared average results from an industrial area (0.327 ppm) with a rural area (0.002* ppm). The rural area values are not included in this average.

A website (www.webhart.net) reviews screenings tests for toxins, stating: “Cadmium in hair exceeding 1 part per million is cause for concern.” (not used in this average)

A 1993 study by Diaz-Barriga F, et al in Mexico found very high levels of hair cadmium in children living in a smelter community of 0.25 up to 3.5 ppm. (average unknown, not used in the above average)


It is useful to look at studies of those exposed to cadmium. The above 12 studies of hair cadmium in persons environmentally or occupationally exposed gives this information:

•    “AVERAGE EXPOSED” is about 0.387 ppm, or 6 times that of the AVERAGE NORMAL in studies of unexposed persons. 
•    Srila Prabhupada had an average of 15.73 ppm, or about 40 times more cadmium as those who were exposed to serious or significant environmental or occupational contamination ! 

How can anyone suggest Srila Prabhupada’s cadmium was due to “exposure” to factory or environmental contamination? In all the studies we came across, and there were quite a few, we never saw where someone had higher levels of cadmium in their hair than Srila Prabhupada had. Clearly, Srila Prabhupada’s cadmium levels were off the “exposure” chart!


There are many scientific studies which include what are called “outliers” that result in misleading ranges and averages for cadmium and arsenic hair levels. This phenomenon is elaborated upon at the end of Chapter 48. Please refer to this section for further appreciation of the selection criteria used in selecting the studies for which the average normal values in cadmium were ascertained, namely about 0.065 ppm.