Cadmium

Periodic table entry for Cadmium that include the atomic number, abbreviation and mass
CAS Number: 7440-43-9

Cadmium is a metal that is found in nature and is used in many industries and products.

Fact Sheet

Cadmium is found in:

  • Cigarette and other tobacco smoke.
  • Some cheap metal jewelry, including some charms.
  • Rechargeable batteries labeled NiCd or NiCad.
  • Metal plating and solder.
  • Some red, yellow, and orange decorative paints, which may be used on glassware and pottery.
  • Some foods, including:
    • Fish and shellfish from contaminated water.
    • Potatoes, root vegetables, leafy greens, fruit, and rice grown in contaminated soil.
    • Certain organ meat, such as liver and kidney.

Possible health concerns of cadmium:

  • May harm the developing infant and child.
  • May harm the reproductive system in men.
  • Can damage the lungs and kidneys.
  • Can increase cancer risk.
  • Can weaken bones.

Possible ways to reduce exposure to cadmium:

  • Do not smoke or allow others to smoke in your home or car, or around your child.
  • Do not let children wear or play with cheap metal jewelry or charms.
  • Do not let children handle rechargeable batteries labeled NiCd or NiCad.
  • Properly recycle batteries (see below).
  • If you do any welding or metalworking, or work with cadmium in other ways:
    • Be sure that your work area is well ventilated, and use proper protective equipment.
    • Follow other safe work practices, including washing hands frequently, keeping work dust out of your home, and washing work clothes separately.
    • Keep children away from welding fumes and other metal vapors and dusts.
  • Because cadmium can collect in dust:
    • Wash your and your child’s hands often, especially before preparing or eating food.
    • Clean your floors regularly, using a wet mop or HEPA vacuum if possible, and use a damp cloth to dust.
  • Include plenty of variety in your and your child’s diet. Eat a well-balanced diet with enough iron, which can help reduce the amount of cadmium that your body absorbs.  

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