About Cadmium & Toxicity
Cadmium is an extremely toxic metal commonly found in industrial workplaces. Due to its low permissible exposure limit, overexposures may occur even in situations where trace quantities of cadmium are found. Cadmium is used extensively in electroplating, although the nature of the operation does not generally lead to overexposures. Cadmium is also found in some industrial paints and may represent a hazard when sprayed. Operations involving removal of cadmium paints by scraping or blasting may pose a significant hazard. Cadmium is also present in the manufacturing of some types of batteries. Exposures to cadmium are addressed in specific standards for the general industry, shipyard employment, construction industry, and the agricultural industry.
Plants may only contain small or moderate amounts in non-industrial areas, but high levels may be found in the liver and kidneys of adult animals. The daily intake of cadmium through food varies by geographic region. Intake is reported to be approximately 8 to 30mcg in Europe and the United States versus 59 to 113 mcg in various areas of Japan. Cigarettes are also a significant source of cadmium exposure. Although there is generally less cadmium in tobacco than in food, the lungs absorb cadmium more efficiently than the stomach.
Acute exposure to cadmium fumes may cause flu like symptoms including chills, fever, and muscle ache sometimes referred to as “the cadmium blues.” Symptoms may resolve after a week if there is no respiratory damage. More severe exposures can cause tracheo-bronchitis, pneumonitis, and pulmonary edema. Symptoms of inflammation may start hours after the exposure and include cough, dryness and irritation of the nose and throat, headache, dizziness, weakness, fever, chills, and chest pain.
Inhaling cadmium-laden dust quickly leads to respiratory tract and kidney problems which can be fatal (often from renal failure). Ingestion of any significant amount of cadmium causes immediate poisoning and damage to the liver and the kidneys. Compounds containing cadmium are also carcinogenic.
Detection of Cadmium
API’s Food Poison Detection Kit includes everything one needs to conduct a complete analysis of food for all the most notorious poisons, document the results and preserve any evidence. This Kit was developed under a research grant with the U.S. Department of Defense and has been validated by multiple parties.
Our GHM-01 Detector for Common Heavy Metals rapidly and easily detects and identifies common heavy metals. A simple color change alerts the user if Cadmium or other Heavy Metals are present. This cheap and easy-to-use method can be purchased directly from our webpage linked above.
The EYAL™ DD-04L Reader allows for fast, quantitative determination of Cadmium in a solution using the QuantTab™ Heavy Metal Determination Card. Using the provided software, sample concentrations can be tracked and monitored over time.