Pure cadmium is a soft silver-white metal. In nature cadmium is nearly always found in combination with other elements such as sulphur (cadmium sulphide). Cadmium is usually extracted from zinc, lead and copper ores.
Common name: Cadmium (Cd)
Cadmium is used in nickel-cadmium and other batteries, in corrosion-resistant metal plating, in pigments and plastic stabilisers. The metal is also used in bearings and alloys.
Releases to the environment
Major man-made releases to the environment of cadmium, and chemicals containing cadmium, are primarily through non-ferrous metal production from primary concentrates (such as zinc and aluminium) and iron and steel manufacture, and also through the use of phosphate fertilisers.
Impacts on the environment and human health
Excessive exposure to cadmium and its compounds may cause cancer and pose a concern for human health, particularly in relation to kidney and bone effects. Cadmium is toxic to a wide range of micro-organisms and aquatic life.
Cadmium and its compounds are listed as priority hazardous substance in of the EU Water Framework Directive, in the OSPAR convention for protection of the Marine Environment and in the Basel Convention controlling the transboundary movements of hazardous wastes. Furthermore cadmium is on the EU-Commissions EPER list and listed in the PRTR Protocol under the Århus Convention.
CAS NO: 7440-43-9.