Cadmium

Overview

Cadmium metal CAS No. 7440-43-9

Cadmium fumes CAS No. 1306-19-0

Cadmium metal (Cd) is a silver-white solid, tinged with blue. Cadmium is found in cadmium fumes (CdO) and cadmium compounds. Workers may be harmed from exposure to cadmium. It is a highly toxic carcinogenic that is harmful to most of the body’s systems, especially to the lungs, bones, and kidneys. The level of exposure depends upon the dose, duration, and work being done.

Cadmium is used in many industries. It’s used in the manufacturing of some batteries and solar cells, electroplating, and silver soldering. Construction workers involved in demolition can be exposed to dust containing cadmium. Other examples of workers at risk of cadmium exposure include the following:

  • Workers exposed to cadmium-containing pigments and coatings
  • Factory workers in plants that manufacture Ni-Cd batteries
  • Workers in electroplating shops or factories
  • Electronic recycling workers exposed to telephone and electric cables

NIOSH recommends that employers use Hierarchy of Controls to prevent injuries. If you work in an industry that uses cadmium, please read chemical labels and the accompanying Safety Data Sheet for hazard information. Visit NIOSH’s page on Managing Chemical Safety in the Workplace to learn more about controlling chemical workplace exposures.

The following resources provide information about occupational exposure to cadmium. Useful search terms for cadmium fumes include “cadmium monoxide” and “cadmium oxide fumes.”

NIOSH Chemical Resources

Related NIOSH Resources

Selected Publications

Related Resources

International Resources

Page last reviewed: June 24, 2019