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What is Cadmium?

Cadmium is a naturally occurring element that is found in soil, rocks, coal, and mineral fertilizers. It can enter the environment through mining. It is used in batteries, silver solder, pigments, metal coatings, plastics, and electroplating.

Exposure to Cadmium

Cadmium can be inhaled after industrial processes occur or through smoking cigarettes (cadmium in tobacco plants). It can also be ingested through contaminated food (such as shellfish, vegetables, cereal, and starchy roots), soil, or contaminated water.

Health Effects of Cadmium

Inhalation of cadmium:

  • Severely damaged lungs
  • Fluid in lungs
  • Flu like symptoms

Ingestion of cadmium:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

General Exposure to cadmium:

  • Cancers such as prostate, kidney, testes, and lung
  • Reproductive issues (harms developing baby, damages testes, interrupts female cycle)
  • Kidney damage
  • Bone damage

Avoiding Exposure to High Amounts of Cadmium

  • In your house store things containing cadmium safely
  • Avoid smoking in general or in closed spaces and around family members
  • If you work around cadmium make sure to wash thoroughly and remove items that could contain cadmium
  • Use proper protection when handling cadmium at work
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly