The adversities of Cadmium

Can you guess one common factor between plastic and your electronic devices? The answer is Cadmium. Cadmium is used in the rechargeable batteries of your cell phone and laptops. Cadmium is also extensively used in manufacturing several PVC ( Polyvinyl chloride) compounds like your chargers’ wire insulation.

Cadmium is an indispensable part of electronic devices. However, it has plenty of health impacts and environmental damages.

In 1950, Cadmium’s first adverse effects on human health were found among workers working in a cadmium battery industry. After that, several studies have shown that cadmium can cause death in human beings and animals.

Since 2018, it is a proven fact that India generates more than 2 million tonnes of electronic wastes annually. The misery doesn’t end there; humongous amounts of e-waste get imported from other countries.  

Most of the cadmium found today is obtained from zinc. Cadmium is primarily used in the making of Nickel-Cadmium rechargeable batteries. They are also used as corrosion protection for steel and iron. The industrial usage of Cadmium is found in:

  • Nuclear reactors
  • Solar cells
  • Electroplating
  • PVC
  • Pigmentation

Let us take a sneak-peek on the adverse health impacts:

Cadmium leaves its toxic imprints on the skeletal system, kidney, and respiratory system. Cadmium also causes many irreparable damages to the nervous system. The neurotoxic symptoms can be something as basic as headache and vertigo. The symptoms can also be complicated, like Parkinsonian symptoms, lower concentration levels, and learning disabilities.

  • In kidneys, Cadmium accumulates and affects the proximal tubular cells.
  • Cadmium can also result in demineralized bones. Thus, causing significant damage to the skeletal system.
  • Carcinogenic traits have been found in Cadmium.
  • Cadmium also diminishes lung functioning and makes human beings more prone to lung cancer.

Earlier all these health impacts were found in the industrial or heavily populated environments. As a population from these segments was more exposed to Cadmium. But now these traits have been passed on to the general population. It is no longer restricted to specific industrialized countries or countries with high levels of pollution. The impacts are universal.

Other than electronic gadgets, Cadmium is also found in the following substances:

  • Cigarettes
  • Paints
  • Pigments
  • Plastics
  • Alloys
  • Fertilizers
  • Pigments in some pottery

These substances are easily found in our immediate surroundings. Therefore, cadmium can enter our body without us being aware of it. 

Our environment possesses Cadmium in minimal concentration. However, with the increase in electronic wastes, the concentrations have increased way beyond measures.

It is almost like we are living on borrowed time. A toxic metal is still at large preying on many lives. It is not exactly right to play the victim card when we have the right set of weapons to fight back. At MobiTrade, you can donate your old cell phone that you are about to discard. We repair them free of cost and give it to people who need them.

Prevent your cell phone from ending up in the landfill. Visit our website today. We do door-step pick-ups. You don’t need to worry about the condition of your cell phone. We accept all kinds of cellphones. 

Spreading like a forest-fire

Earlier human beings working in the following areas were more prone to cadmium:

  • Smelting
  • Battery manufacturing
  • Soldering
  • Pigment production

Because of this, most of us tend to believe that cadmium can only enter our bodies by direct exposure to the metal or by inhaling its fumes. But the real picture is very different.

Ways by which cadmium can enter our bodies and contaminate our surroundings

  • Cadmium (from the uncountable tonnes of electronic waste that fills up landfills) can seep in through the soil and blend with groundwater. On coming in contact with water, cadmium is more motile than any other metal. This property enables cadmium to contaminate at a breakneck pace.
  • On entering the air, Cadmium tends to bind with small particles. Then it falls on the ground in the form of rain or snow. This can cause significant damage to terrestrial and aquatic animals. It also contaminates the soil. As we all know, the soil is the source of our food and water.

This means each and everyone is exposed to the metal as toxic as Cadmium.

The following ways are used by medical practitioners to detect Cadmium in your body:

  • Blood test
  • Analysis of hair and nail
  • Urine test

The most common symptoms of cadmium poisoning are as follows

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Weak bones
  • Stomach pain

Inhaling cadmium can result in the following symptoms:

  • Body aches
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Acute pain in the abdomen
  • Shortness of breath

Exposure to a high concentration of Cadmium ultimately results in death.

To date, the treatment for cadmium toxicity has not been found. Doctors heavily depend on curing the symptoms and providing relief to human beings.

By now, hopefully, we have some clarity on the graveness of the situation? Let us delve a little deeper.

While developed countries like Japan and the USA have adapted to efficient e-waste management with high-end technology usage, India still lags and is still suffering from managing its solid waste.

Most of the electronic waste is dealt with scrap dealers and an impoverished section of the society. They don’t possess the knowledge, awareness, or skills to deal with these wastes.


Cadmium, with its innumerable utility, cannot be discarded altogether. Substitutes of cadmium are not widely used. Therefore what you can do is stop contributing to its enhanced production and accumulation in nature. The simple key is to reduce, reuse, and recycle. At MobiTrade, you can donate your cellphone to us. If you are considering exchanging your cellphone instead, we provide the best rates on your old cellphone. We repair them free of cost and give it to people who genuinely need them so that your waste lights up someone else’s life. Call or WhatsApp us now on - 8700172840 or 8448712131. You can also visit our website,, to know everything in detail.

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