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Health and Safety

Posted in: Health and Safety
Cadmium: an Element To Avoid at All Cost!
By Pat O'Connor
Oct 28, 2011 - 5:54:37 AM

Oct. 28, 2011 - Princeton, IA - The OSHA Standard (1992) established the Personal Exposure Level (PEL) for airborne cadmium at only 5 g/m³, compared to the PEL for lead which is 50 g/m³. Employers must establish "regulated areas" whenever airborne concentrations of cadmium exceed 5 g/m³, or can be reasonably expected to exceed this level.

A regulated area must: (1) be set apart from other work areas in a way that establishes and alerts employees to the boundaries of this area; (2) be entered ONLY by authorized persons; (3) be entered ONLY by persons using proper respirators; and (4) be accessible only to persons who refrain from eating, drinking, smoking or chewing tobacco or gum, and applying any cosmetic in such areas. Warning signs must be posted at all approaches to this regulated area. "DANGER, CADMIUM, CANCER HAZARD, CAN CAUSE LUNG AND KIDNEY DISEASE, AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY, RESPIRATORS REQUIRED IN THIS AREA."

According to the Cadmium Council, an organization based in Reston, Virginia, heating cadmium to just 150°F accelerates its release of toxic fumes. Approximately 40% of cadmium fumes that are inhaled are retained in the body, while less than 5% of ingested cadmium is retained. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t worry about washing your hands, but rather it points out how critical it is for you NOT to breathe any cadmium fumes. Whether inhaled or ingested, cadmium builds up in your organs with each and every exposure. Furthermore, it is estimated that it can take over 25 years for the body to expel this toxin. All the while, a person may be seriously ill due to damaged or dysfunctional organs.

Please check the OSHA MSDS for any low-temperature aluminum solders in your shop, and for heaven’s sake, don’t use a 3000°F flame to melt solders that contain cadmium. Some vendors who promote such repair rods can be seen at county fairs or other such public events where they demonstrate how easily aluminum cans can be joined together using their "low temperature" rod.

A final word: If you cannot obtain a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) at time of sale, or better yet, before hand, you may want to reconsider purchasing such a product. Again, ALL Johnson Mfg Co and S.A. Day products are CADMIUM FREE.

Thanks to
Johnson Manufacturing Company
Fax: 563-289-3825

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