Cadmium is an elemental metal, commonly used in electronics and batteries as a corrosion resistant coating for metal fittings, and as a pigment for paints and plastics.
What Can I Do On My Project?
• Request Health Product Declarations (HPD) from product vendors and manufacturers.
An HPD identifies health hazards associated with product ingredients.
• Specify stainless steel or galvanized finishes in lieu of cadmium coatings for fittings and other hardware materials.
• Specify Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS)-compliant controls, wire, cable, electronic and electrical equipment, including lighting fixtures.
The European RoHS restricts the use of six hazardous materials (including mercury, lead, and cadmium) in the manufacture of electronic and electrical equipment.
• Set tight goals for electricity use.
Cadmium is released when coal is burned so, in most regions, each kilowatt hour saved represents an avoidance of cadmium released into the environment.
• Via ingestion of food contaminated by phosphate fertilizers or sewage sludge applied to farm fields.
• Via inhalation of cadmium in the air from burning fossil fuels such as coal or oil.
Cadmium exposure is associated with:
• Irritation of the lungs (short-term effect).
• Kidney disease caused by cadmium build-up in the kidneys (long-term inhalation or oral exposure).
• Associated with lung cancer. EPA has classified cadmium as a probable human carcinogen.
• Developmental and reproductive toxicity.