Mine wastes contain a mixture of metals and metalloids including arsenic (As) and cadmium (Cd). This study investigated the potential interaction between As and Cd in a rat model. Sprague Dawley rats were dosed with sodium arsenate via the oral (0, 0.5, 5 and 15 mg As kg(-1) b.w.) or intravenous (0.5 mg As kg(-1) b.w.) route to establish its dose-response relationship in terms of bioavailability and pharmacokinetic parameters. Bioavailability of As reduced when the dose of As increased. For the interaction study a fixed oral dose of As at 2.5 mg As kg(-1) b.w. solo and in combination with Cd as cadmium chloride at 3 or 6 mg Cd kg(-1) b.w. were administered to rats. Bioavailability of As was decreased by 34-35% in the presence of Cd. Elimination half-life of As was also decreased from 69 days in the As solo group to 13-22 days in the presence of 3 and 6 mg Cd kg(-1) b.w. respectively. Decreased urinary excretion of As and tissue accumulation were also observed. A probable explanation for these findings is that As co-administration with Cd could have resulted in the formation of less soluble cadmium-arsenic complexes in the guts of the rats. Nevertheless, such an interaction between As and Cd could only explained about 44-48% of the variation when mine waste materials containing both of these elements were administered to rats. This suggests other physical properties and chemical compound formation could contribute to the observed bioavailability of arsenic in complex environmental samples.