Cadmium.jpg
A crystal cadmium bar. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cadmium-crystal_bar.jpg

Fact Box

Do you like this page? Hate it? Neither? Vote here!

Fact Box.png



Characteristics

Cadmium is a bluish-white metal. It is soft and malleable, and it is easily cut with a knife. It is resistant to corrosion and attack by chemicals. It is also an excellent electrical conductor. Cadmium reacts with acids, and it reacts with air when heated. It is similar in many ways to zinc in its chemical properties.


Uses

Cadmium is used in bearings, NiCad batteries, control rods for nuclear reactors, standard E.M.F. cells, and many types of solder. It is also used extensively in electroplating, and electroplating accounts for 60% of its use. Cadmium sulfide is used as a yellow pigment.


Source

The only mineral that contains significant amounts of cadmium is greenockite. However, small amounts of cadmium occur associated with zinc ores. Almost all cadmium is obtained as a by-product of the refinement of zinc, copper, and lead ores.


Harmful Effects

Cadmium and its compounds are highly toxic, more toxic than lead or mercury. Cadmium exposure contributes to many health conditions, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Long term exposure to cadmium can cause serious health issues with the kidneys and lungs.


Metabolism

Half of all absorbed cadmium is stored in the liver and kidneys. Cadmium is also stored in the pancreas and salivary glands. The excretion rate of cadmium is usually very low, and it can take many years for cadmium to leave the body.

Sources of Cadmium Exposure(chart)

piechart.jpg
Source: http://cadmium.org/pg_n.php?id_menu=15

Chinese Factory Directors Detained After Cadmium Deaths(video)







References

The following sites were used in the creation of this article:
http://periodic.lanl.gov/48.shtml
http://www.chemicool.com/elements/cadmium.html
http://www.chemeddl.org/resources/ptl/index.html
http://www.rsc.org/periodic-table/element/48/cadmium
http://www.arltma.com/CadmiumToxDoc.htm
http://education.jlab.org/itselemental/ele048.html
http://www.cadmium.org/
http://www.cadmium.org/pg_n.php?id_menu=15
An image's source is stated in its caption.