Cadmium and Cd Compounds
Cadmium (Cd) is a soft, silver-white, low-melting-point metal. Cadmium is extracted mainly as a byproduct of the mining and processing of zinc, lead, or copper. Cadmium has many uses in industry and consumer products, mainly in batteries, pigments, coatings and plating solutions, polymer stabilizers, metal alloys, and some other compounds.
Recent studies link exposure to Cd to bladder cancer and chronic obstructive airway disease (COAD). Human and animal studies have reported limited evidence of an increase in risk of lung cancer from the chronic inhalation of Cd. Cadmium is a potential reproductive and developmental toxicant. California has designated Cd as causing reproductive toxicity under its Proposition 65 regulation. Animal studies indicate that eating or drinking Cd may cause high blood pressure, iron-poor blood, liver disease, or nerve or brain damage.
Massachusetts’ manufacturers followed the national trend experiencing a 73% reduction in the overall use of Cd and Cd compounds from 1990 to 2005, with almost half of this reduction due to the substitution of safer alternatives and eventual cessation of the manufacture of custom polymer compounds containing Cd.