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Cadmium (Cd): Fun Facts and Information About the Element

Cadmium What is the symbol? Cd
What is the atomic number? 48
What is the atomic weight? 112.411
What is the melting point in Celsius? 321
What is the boiling point in Celsius? 765
What is the density (g/cm3)? 8.65
What year was it discovered? 1817
Who discovered the element? Friedrich Strohmeyer
What group is the element in? 12
What is the electron configuration? [Kr] 4d10 5s2
What is the ionization energy? 8.9938
What element category is it in? Transition Elements

Where is Cadmium Found?

Cadmium most often occurs in small quantities associated with zinc ores, such as sphalerite (ZnS). Greenockite (CdS) is the only mineral of any consequence bearing cadmium. Almost all cadmium is obtained as a by-product in the treatment of zinc, copper, and lead ores.

What is Cadmium Used For?

Cadmium is used in bearing alloys with low coefficients of friction and great resistance to fatigue; it is used extensively in electroplating, which accounts for about 60% of its use. It is also used in many types of solder, for standard E.M.F. cells, for Ni-Cd batteries. Cadmium compounds are used in black and white television phosphors and in blue and green phosphors for color TV tubes.

Is Cadmium Toxic?

Cadmium and solutions of its compounds are toxic. Many consumer groups, including Consumer Reports magazine, have reported on the elevated toxicity levels in toys and other children’s products. This has led to mass recalls over the last few years. Some of these reports, including one from a 2010 issue of Business Week magazine have gone so far as to warn that elevated levels can cause premature puberty in girls, as well as prolonged problems with the lungs, kidneys, and bones. Some states, such as California, limit the amount of cadmium that can be used in certain products, largely because of the potential problems exposure to the element can cause.