Cadmium is a metal found naturally in the earth's crust. Pure cadmium is a soft, silver-white metal; however, its unusual to find it in its pure form. Its commonly found in combination with other elements such as oxygen (cadmium oxide) or sulphur (cadmium sulphate).
Cadmium is also used in industry. The cadmium used in industry is a byproduct of zinc, lead, and copper refining. Industrial uses of cadmium include production of metal plating, rechargeable batteries, paint pigments, and plastics.
Cadmium can be found in dust. The body does not readily release cadmium once inhaled or ingested. Exposure to low doses of cadmium over a long time can build up to a toxic level.
(P-44591 Revised 12/2010)
This fact sheet summarizes information about this chemical and is not a complete listing of all possible effects. It does not refer to work exposure or emergency situations.