What is Cadmium?
Cadmium is a rare metallic element found in small deposits on almost every continent. It has a number of uses, perhaps most famously as a pigment in paint and in jewellery, and it can be expensive due to its rarity. Pure cadmium is rare in nature. The element is usually found in combinations with other elements, typically copper, zinc, and lead. It is extracted from these ores during the smelting process, or with the assistance of chemicals such as sulfuric acid. When isolated, cadmium is a soft, bluish white metal that is highly ductile, making it extremely suitable for metal alloys.
What are the risks of Cadmium?
Cadmium and its compounds are generally considered to be carcinogenic by most health and safety agencies. The element irritates internal organs such as the lungs and intestines when inhaled or ingested, and long term exposure to high levels can cause death.
Where can Cadmium be found and why is it present?
Soil, rocks, coal and fertilizers contain cadmium. Most of the cadmium used in theUnited Statesis removed when other metals such as zinc, lead and copper are processed. Cadmium is used in some nickel-cadmium storage batteries, pigments, metal coatings, dental amalgams and plastics.Cadmium can enter the air from mining, industry, burning coal and household wastes. Cadmium can travel long distances through the air before settling on the ground or water. It enters water and soil from waste disposal, or if spills or leaks occur at hazardous waste sites. It binds to soil. Some forms dissolve in water.Cadmium can be found in paints and hardware of consumer products.
What legislation relates to Cadmium?
Cadmium is restricted under Annex XVII of REACH regulations, which covers mixtures and articles, jewellery, paints, brazing fillers, plastics and recovered PVC. Cadmium is also covered in a number of regulations including, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, California Proposition 65, the Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse (TPCH), RoHS, CPSIA and European Toy Directive.
What are the limits for Cadmium?
Under REACH the following can not be placed on the market if the Cadmium content exceeds:
- 0.01% for Jewellery, Mixtures and Articles and Brazing Fillers
- 0.1% for Paints and recovered PVC
Cadmium Testing & Analysis
What is cadmium testing?
Cadmium testing identifies what levels of cadmium are present in your product.
Cadmium is a rare metallic element found in small deposits on almost every continent. It has a number of uses, perhaps most famously as a pigment (yellow/orange colour space) used in paint and in jewellery. The element is usually found in combinations with other elements, typically copper, zinc, and lead.
Cadmium is considered a risk to human health as cadmium and its compounds are generally considered to be carcinogenic by most health and safety agencies. The element irritates internal organs such as the lungs and intestines when inhaled or ingested, and long term exposure to high levels can cause death. As an element, Cadmium cannot be broken down and as such accumulates within cells and organs and the environment over time.
Why do you need cadmium testing?
Cadmium is restricted under Annex XVII of REACH regulations, which covers mixtures and articles, including:
Plastics and recovered PVC
Cadmium testing is essential to identify the levels of cadmium in your product(s), to help your business comply with a number of international regulations, including:
Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in theUnited States
CaliforniaProposition65 inthe State ofCalifornia
Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse (TPCH) in theUnited States
RoHS in the European Union
European Toy Directive in the European Union
In addition to this, on 1st November 2011, ASTM International approved ASTM F2923-11 ‘Children’s Jewellery Safety Standard’ which includes strict Cadmium limits in children’s metal and plastic jewellery. Under this legislation, metal and plastic/polymeric components must meet migratable limits for cadmium if they fail an initial screen for cadmium content.
PTS Testing Service Heavy Metals Testing in Products and Materials
PTS Testing Service carry out a wide range of heavy metals testing on consumer products and materials, including:
Chrome VI testing
View more information on heavy metal testing
What is the Cadmium Directive?
The total amount of cadmium allowed in consumer products is stated in EU Directive 91/338/EEC. The directive restricts the use of cadmium in pigments, as a stabiliser in plastics and as a coating of metallic plates and surfaces.
What are the limits for Cadmium under the directive?
The directive requires the cadmium content of plastic, paint and polymer stabilizer not exceed 0.01 % (100ppm) by mass, whatever their use or intended final purpose, finished products or components of products manufactured from the substances and preparations.
In addition to this, the directive prohibits the placing on the market of cadmium plated products or components used in: equipment and machinery for food production, agriculture, cooling and freezing, printing and book binding, the production of household goods, furniture, sanitary ware, central heating, paper and board, textiles and clothing.
How do I comply with the Cadmium Directive?
In order to ensure that your products are compliant with the Cadmium directive they should be tested by an independent laboratory to ensure that cadmium is not present at levels above the maximum concentration limits.
Why do I need to comply with the Directive?Cadmium and its compounds are generally considered to be carcinogenic by most health and safety agencies. It is important to ensure that your products are compliant in order to protect the health and safety of the consumer, as well as to avoid damage to your business in terms of cost, withdrawals from the market and reputation.