Industrial and agricultural processes have led to the prevalence of cadmium in the ecosystem. A successive build-up of cadmium in food and drinking water can result in inadvertent consumption of hazardous concentrations. Such environmental contamination of cadmium can pose a substantial threat to human and animal life. In humans, it is known to cause hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, DNA lesions, inhibition of DNA repair protein or disturb the functioning of lung, liver, prostate and kidney. The development of a reliable method for Cd (II) ions detection would reduce the exposure and complement existing conventional methods. In this study, a DNA based electrochemical method is employed for the detection of Cd (II) ions using ethyl green (EG) and multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT). Glassy carbon electrode (GCE)/MWCNT forms the working electrode for differential pulse voltammetry (DPV) analysis for the detection of Cd (II) ions. The dsDNA is immobilized onto the working electrode. The indicator dye EG, preferably binds to ssDNA and its reduction peak current is noticeably less in the presence of dsDNA. The Cd (II) ions after interacting with dsDNA, unwinds the dsDNA to ssDNA, upon which the EG molecules bind to ssDNAs, giving a higher reduction peak current. The difference in the reduction peak currents in the presence and absence of Cd (II) ions is proportional to its concentration. The linear detection range achieved in this method is 2 nM–10.0 nM with a sensitivity of around 5 nA nM−1 and the limit of detection is 2 nM, which is less than the permissible limit of WHO for human exposure. This study considerably broadens the possible application of multi-walled carbon nanotube modified electrodes as biosensors and holds prospects for the detection of other heavy metals in environmental samples. © 2021 Elsevier Inc.