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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

Logo of NIOSH Pocket Guide

NIOSH Pocket Guide

The NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards (NPG) helps workers, employers, and occupational health professionals recognize and control workplace chemical hazards.

Logo of Manual of Analytical Methods.

Manual of Analytical Methods

The NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods (NMAM) is a collection of methods for sampling and analysis of contaminants in workplace air, and in the blood and urine of workers who are occupationally exposed.

Logo of Health Hazard Evaluations consisting of three letters: HHE

Health Hazard Evaluations

The Health Hazard Evaluation Program (HHE) conducts onsite investigations of possible worker exposure to chemicals. Search the HHE database for more information on cadmium.

Related NIOSH Resources

Selected Publications

Related Resources

International Resources

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