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Cadmium and Cadmium Compounds Fact Sheet

Updated in May 2021

This fact sheet is part of a series of chemical fact sheets developed by TURI to help Massachusetts companies, community organizations and residents understand a chemical's use and health and environmental effects, as well as the availability of safer alternatives. It was updated in May 2021. 

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 semiconductors for solar cells.

Due to its serious adverse effects on human health and the environment, cadmium is subject to multiple regulations at the state, federal, and international levels. In 2018, Massachusetts facilities subject to TURA reported the use of over 160,000 pounds of cadmium and cadmium compounds.

Cadmium and cadmium compounds were designated as higher hazard substances under the Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) in January 2008, which reduces the associated reporting thresholds to 1,000 pounds per year.

Learn more about health and environmental impacts, uses and releases, alternatives and regulatory context.