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Chemical Sampling Information (CSI)
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General Description

Synonyms: Cadmium metal; Cadmium dust; Other synonyms vary depending upon the specific cadmium compound

OSHA IMIS Code Number: C141

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 7440-43-9 (elemental)

NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: EU9800000 (elemental)

Department of Transportation Regulation Number (49 CFR 172.101) and 2012 Emergency Response Guidebook [4 MB PDF, 392 pages]: 2570 154 (cadmium compound)

NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards - Cadmium dust (as Cd): Physical description, chemical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Hazard Summary - Cadmium: Uses, sources and potential exposure, acute and chronic health hazard information, and more

Exposure Limits and Health Effects

Exposure Limit

Limit Values

HE Codes

Health Factors and Target Organs

OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) - General Industry*
See 29 CFR 1910.1027

5 µg/m3
TWA

2.5 µg/m3 
Action Level

HE1

Increased risk of lung and prostate cancer

HE3

Kidney damage

HE11

Acute pulmonary edema

HE16

Mild irritation of the upper respiratory tract, a sensation of throat constriction, a metallic taste and/or cough

HE17

Asphyxia

OSHA PEL - Construction Industry
See 29 CFR 1926.1127

5 µg/m3
TWA

2.5 µg/m
Action Level 

HE1

Increased risk of lung and prostate cancer

HE3

Kidney damage

HE11

Acute pulmonary edema

HE16

Mild irritation of the upper respiratory tract, a sensation of throat constriction, a metallic taste and/or cough

HE17

Asphyxia

OSHA PEL - Shipyard Employment
See 29 CFR 1915.1027

5 µg/m3
TWA

2.5 µg/m
Action Level

HE1

Increased risk of lung and prostate cancer

HE3

Kidney damage

HE11

Acute pulmonary edema

HE16

Mild irritation of the upper respiratory tract, a sensation of throat constriction, a metallic taste and/or cough

HE17

Asphyxia

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL)
See Appendix A

Not established (lowest feasible concentration)

Note: The REL applies to all cadmium compounds (as Cd)

Ca

HE1

Prostate cancer

HE3

Kidney dysfunction

HE10

Pulmonary changes, including emphysema

HE12

Anemia

American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV) (2001)

0.01 mg/m3 TWA
(total particulate)

HE3

Preclinical kidney dysfunction

HE4

Metal fume fever*

0.002 mg/m3
TWA
(respirable particulate fraction)

HE1

Lung cancer

HE4

Metal fume fever**

A2; BEI

 

CAL/OSHA PEL

0.005 mg/m3

 

 

* The cadmium fume PELs of 0.1 mg/m3 TWA and 0.3 mg/m3 Ceiling and the cadmium dust PELs of 0.2 mg/m3 TWA and 0.6 mg/m3 Ceiling (see 29 CFR 1910.1000 Table Z-2) apply to any operations or sectors for which the Cadmium standard, 1910.1027, is stayed or otherwise not in effect.
** Metal fume fever is a temporary condition caused by inhaling cadmium fumes. Symptoms typically include chills, fever, upset stomach, vomiting, dryness of the throat, cough, weakness, and achiness.

Separate Engineering Control Airborne Limits (SECALs) 
for Processes in Selected Industries

Industry

Process

SECAL (µg/m3)

Nickel Cadmium Battery

Plate making, plate preparation
All other processes

50
15

Zinc/Cadmium Refining*

Cadmium refining, casting, melting, oxide production, sinter plant

50

Pigment Manufacture

Calcine, crushing, milling, blending
All other processes

50
15

Stabilizers*

Cadmium oxide charging, crushing, drying, blending

50

Lead Smelting*

Sinter plant, blast furnace, baghouse, yard area

50

Plating*

Mechanical plating

15

*Processes in these industries that are not specified in this table must achieve the PEL using engineering controls and work practices as required in f(1)(i).

National Toxicology Program (NTP) carcinogenic classification: Known to be a human carcinogen  [152 KB PDF, 4 pages]

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) carcinogenic classification: Group 1, (carcinogenic to humans) [62 KB PDF, 21 pages] 

EPA carcinogenic classification: Probable human carcinogen - based on limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans

EPA Inhalation Reference Concentration (RfC): Not established

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) Inhalation Minimal Risk Levels (MRLs): 0.00003 mg/m3 (acute); 0.00001 mg/m3 (chronic)

NIOSH Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (IDLH) concentration: 9 mg Cd/m3

Notes on Other Potential Health Effects and Hazards

  1. Cadmium is flammable in its powder form and is spontaneously combustible in its pyrophoric form (NIOSH/ICPS 2005).
  2. Occupational exposure to cadmium may increase the risk of high blood pressure, low bone mineral density, and osteoporosis (Poreba et al. 2010; Nawrot et al. 2010).
  3. Cadmium may be a teratogen (NIOSH 1976).

Date Last Revised: 12/11/2012

Literature Basis:

  • ACGIH: Documentation of the Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs) ­ Cadmium and Compounds. 2001.
  • Nawrot T, Geusens P, Nulens TS, Nemery B: Occupational cadmium exposure and calcium excretion, bone density, and osteoporosis in men. J Bone Miner Res. 25(6):1441-5, June 2010.
  • NIOSH: Criteria for a Recommended Standard: Occupational Exposure to Cadmium. 1976.
  • NIOSH: Occupational Health Guideline for Cadmium Dust (as Cadmium). 1978.
  • NIOSH/IPCS: International Chemical Safety Cards - Cadmium. April 22, 2005.
  • NTP 12th Report on Carcinogens, Cadmium, 2011 [152 KB PDF, 4 pages]
  • OSHA: Occupational Safety and Health Standards, Substance Safety Data Sheet - Cadmium. 1910.1027 App A
  • Poreba R, Gac P, Poreba M, Derkacz A, Pilecki W, Antonowicz-Juchniewicz J, Andrzejak R: Relationship between chronic exposure to lead, cadmium and manganese, blood pressure values and incidence of arterial hypertension. Med Pr. 61(1):5-14, 2010.
Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method:

  • sampling media: Mixed Cellulose Ester Filter (MCEF) 0.8 microns
    maximum volume: 960 Liters  minimum volume: 480 Liters
    maximum flow rate: 2.0 L/min TWA
    current analytical method: Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy; AAS/GF
    method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA ID-189)
    method classification: Fully Validated
    alternate analytical method: Inductively Coupled Plasma; ICP-AES/MS, AAS
    method reference: OSHA Analytical Methods (OSHA ID-125G, OSHA ID-206, OSHA ID-105, OSHA ID-121), & OSHA 1006
    method classification: Fully Validated
    note: If the filter is not overloaded, samples should be collected up to an 8-hour period or for the duration of the cadmium exposure.

** All Trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


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