The Movement of Inorganic Cadmium Through the Environment
Occasionally, in his/her capacity as a dangerous goods expert, the systems safety engineer is called upon to evaluate or prevent pollution and poisoning, or control mishaps that have already occurred. The industrial/military management of cadmium metal is a good example of this type of responsibility. Aerospace fasteners and other components have been plated with cadmium metal for decades. The coating is inexpensive, corrosion resistant, solderable, paintable, and can be chromated to produce various colors. Cadmium is also naturally “slippery,” thereby preventing fasteners from “galling”. However, cadmium is environmentally toxic. It is the object of this chapter to describe the life cycle of inorganic cadmium in the environment; starting from its creation as a bright freshly deposited metal coating, proceeding to the formation of inorganic compounds and ions in soil and water, and terminating as absorbed Cd2+ in living organisms. Throughout, a mathematical approach will be taken.
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