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