Related topics: heavy metals

Some food contamination starts in the soil

When most people hear "food contamination," they think of bacteria present on unwashed fruits or vegetables, or undercooked meat. However, there are other ways for harmful contaminants to be present in food products.

Reducing cadmium levels in cacao

Chocolate is almost universally adored. But few know the complicated process of how cacao beans become chocolate. Did you know cacao tree farming is done mostly by small-scale low-income farmers in Latin America, particularly ...

Cadmium levels in waste pickers 'four times higher'

Waste pickers exposed to discarded electronics, aluminum and metal cans have up to four times higher levels of the toxic heavy metal cadmium in their blood than the wider population, a study has found.

New material acts as an efficient frequency multiplier

Higher frequencies mean faster data transfer and more powerful processors—the formula that has been driving the IT industry for years. Technically, however, it is anything but easy to keep increasing clock rates and radio ...

The magic wavelength of cadmium

Researchers experimentally determined a property of cadmium called the magic wavelength which is considered essential for the development of the most accurate clocks ever envisaged. The researchers hope this may permit simple ...

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Cadmium

Cadmium ( /ˈkædmiəm/ kad-mee-əm) is a chemical element with the symbol Cd and atomic number 48. This soft, bluish-white metal is chemically similar to the two other stable metals in group 12, zinc and mercury. Similar to zinc, it prefers oxidation state +2 in most of its compounds and similar to mercury it shows a low melting point compared to transition metals. Cadmium and its congeners are not always considered transition metals, in that they do not have partly filled d or f electron shells in the elemental or common oxidation states. The average concentration of cadmium in the Earth's crust is between 0.1 and 0.5 parts per million (ppm). It was discovered in 1817 simultaneously by Stromeyer and Hermann, both in Germany, as an impurity in zinc carbonate.

Cadmium occurs as a minor component in most zinc ores and therefore is a byproduct of zinc production. It was used for a long time as a pigment and for corrosion resistant plating on steel while cadmium compounds were used to stabilize plastic. With the exception of its use in nickel–cadmium batteries and cadmium telluride solar panels, the use of cadmium is generally decreasing in its other applications. These declines have been due to competing technologies, cadmium’s toxicity in certain forms and concentration and resulting regulations. Although cadmium has no known biological function in higher organisms, a cadmium-dependent carbonic anhydrase has been found in marine diatoms.

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