What is cadmium used for?
Cadmium helps created bright, long-lasting pigments used in paints and coatings and to give tint to plastics and ceramics. Some PVC in building and construction and electronics uses cadmium stabilizers. Cadmium also helps makes batteries used to power cell phones, laptops and other electronics.
Where is cadmium found?
Cadmium is a naturally occurring metal found in the earth’s crust. Most soil and rocks, including coal and mineral fertilizers, contain some cadmium.
Is there any cadmium in food?
Because cadmium is naturally found in water and soil, it is taken up by plants as they grow. For example, small amounts of cadmium can sometimes be found in: seaweed, peanuts, sunflower seeds, leafy greens, potatoes, bread, and mushrooms. Cadmium can also be found in small amounts in seafood and in organ meats, such as the liver and kidneys, of some animals.
Is cadmium contaminating drinking water?
Drinking water can contain very small amounts of cadmium. The Safe Drinking Water Act requires the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to determine the level of certain contaminants in drinking water at which no adverse health effects are likely to occur and to set a safe concentration level called a maximum contaminant level (MCL). EPA’s MCL for cadmium is 0.005 mg/L or 5 parts per billion (ppb).
Is cadmium a health concern?
The CPSC regulates the safety of toys and other children’s products. Although concerns about cadmium in children’s jewelry have been expressed in the past, recent CPSIA amendments have substantially tightened consumer protection for these products.
FDA has also tested cosmetics for cadmium, found that the amounts of cadmium were very small, and concluded the small amounts found in its review would not pose a health risk.
Worker environments with higher potential cadmium exposure include industrial processes that involve heating cadmium-containing materials, such as smelting and electroplating. Worker exposure to cadmium can be controlled through personal protective equipment, good industrial hygiene practices, and control and reduction of cadmium emissions to help protect worker health.
Is cadmium poisoning a concern?
To address concerns about possible cadmium poisoning, uses are restricted in materials and products intended for young children because children are more likely to bite or mouth plastic or metals in toys or cups that could contain small amounts of cadmium. To protect children from harmful exposures to cadmium, the U.S. CPSC also prohibits the sale of toys in the United States that contain heavy metals, including cadmium, above designated levels. For more information, the national Poison Control Center also provides immediate, expert assistance on any potential poison exposures.