What is Cadmium – Cadmium Element Definition
Cadmium enters the environment from a variety of industrial applications, including mining and smelting operations, electroplating, and battery, pigment, and plasticizer production. Cadmium element occurs as an impurity in zinc and may also enter consumers’ tap water by galvanized pipe corrosion. Cadmium is also in food, with 27 ug/day in the average diet.
Cadmium element acts as an emetic and can cause kidney dysfunction, hypertension, anemia, and altered liver function. It can build up in the kidney with time. Chronic occupational exposure has resulted in renal dysfunction and neuropsychological impairments. The mechanisms remain uncertain, but cadmium element competes with calcium inside cells and across cell membranes. Cadmium has been shown to induce testicular and prostate tumors in laboratory animals injected subcutaneously. Lung tumor incidence is increased in people exposed to cadmium by inhalation.
As yet, USEPA considers cadmium element unclassifiable as a human carcinogen regarding oral exposure because the observed human carcinogenicity occurs via inhalation. It is regulated based on its renal toxicity in humans, and, using an uncertainty factor of 10, an MCLG and an MCL of 5 ug/L have been adopted (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1991e).