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Cadmium

Cadmium is highly toxic and found in a number of wastes. Learn about current regulations, cadmium's toxicity and health affects, and how to reduce cadmium in the workplace.

Cadmium in common wastes

The dangerous waste regulations have thresholds for cadmium in waste. If your waste contains cadmium, designate it. Common dangerous wastes that may contain cadmium include:

Toxicity and health effects

The general population is primarily exposed to cadmium from breathing cigarette smoke and eating cadmium-contaminated foods. Cadmium is especially dangerous to the lungs and kidneys. The Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry has the latest information on its toxicity.

Reducing cadmium in the workplace

Workers at metal refineries and smelters can be exposed to cadmium when the metal becomes breathable under heat and pressure. Electroplaters, welders, and those involved in the manufacture of paint, glazes, batteries, electronics, and plastics are at risk for exposure.