Discovered in 1817, cadmium occurs in association with zinc ores. Almost all cadmium is a byproduct of processing ores for zinc, copper, and lead.
Cadmium is a soft, bluish-white metal that can be easily cut and is similar in behavior to zinc. It is a component of low-melting alloys and used in electroplating, solder, standard E.M.F. cells, and Ni-Cd batteries.
Compounds of cadmium are used in phosphors, and its sulfate is used as a yellow pigment.
Cadmium and solutions of its compounds are toxic. Failure to appreciate cadmium's toxic properties may expose workers to danger.