Cadmium is also used in the manufacture of fusible (low-melting) alloys, for electroplating to give corrosion-resistance, and in nickel-cadmium batteries. As it is a good absorber of neutrons, it is used in the manufacture of control rods for nuclear reactors. Chemically, it resembles zinc but forms more complex compounds. Its most common isotope is cadmium-114 (28.86 percent).
Cadmium poisoningCadmium accumulates in the body (especially in the kidneys): although a person's daily intake may be as little as 0.05 milligram, he or she will have stored, on average about 50 mg. Cadmium is a poison, a carcinogen, and is known to cause birth defects.
Poisoning due to inhalation of cadmium dust or fumes is an industrial hazard, the effects of which vary according to the duration and severity of exposure. Acute exposure may lead to pneumonitis (inflammation of the lungs). Exposure over a long period can lead to urinary tract calculi (stones), kidney failure, or emphysema.
Cadmium poisoning may also be caused by eating vegetables grown in cadmium-rich soil or by consuming food or drink that has been stored in cadmium-lined containers.
Related category INORGANIC CHEMISTRY
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