To understand mechanisms of cadmium (Cd) tolerance variation associated with root elongation in Arabidopsis thaliana, quantitative trait loci (QTLs) and epistasis were analyzed using relative root length (RRL: % of the root length in +Cd to −Cd) as a tolerant index. Using the composite interval mapping method, three major QTLs (P < 0.05) were detected on chromosomes 2, 4 and 5 in the recombinant inbred population derived from a cross between Landsberg erecta (Ler−0) and Columbia (Col-4). The highest logarithm of odds (LOD) of 5.6 was detected with the QTL on chromosome 5 (QTL5), which is linked to the genetic marker CDPK9 and explained about 26% of the Cd tolerance variation. There was no significant difference in Cd-translocation ratio from roots to shoots between tolerant and sensitive recombinant inbreed lines (RILs), while greater accumulations of reactive oxygen species were observed in the roots of sensitive RILs. This suggested that accumulation of ROS would explain Cd tolerance variation of the Ler/Col RILs, which is mainly controlled by the QTL on chromosome 5. The QTL5 in Ler/Col population was also detected as one of the major QTLs controlling tolerances to hydrogen peroxide and to copper, which is another ROS generating rhizotoxic metal. The same chromosomal position was detected as a common major QTL for Cd and hydrogen peroxide tolerances in a different recombinant inbreed (RI) population derived from a cross of Col-gl1 and Kashmir (Kas-1). These data, along with a multitraits QTL analysis in both sets of RILs, suggest that peroxide damage depends on the genotype at a major Cd-tolerant locus on the upper part of chromosome 5.