California’s Prop 65 and Cadmium Public Health Dangers

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Courtesy of EMSL Analytical, Inc.

In 1986, California voters approved an initiative to address increasing concerns about exposure to toxic chemicals. That initiative, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, is better known by its original name of Proposition 65. 

Proposition 65 requires businesses to notify Californians about significant amounts of chemicals in the products they purchase, in their homes or workplaces, or that are released into the environment.  This list includes cadmium, a chemical element that is soft, bluish-white metal.  Cadmium occurs as a small component in most zinc ores, making it a byproduct of zinc production.

According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), “Cadmium is an extremely toxic metal commonly found in industrial workplaces, particularly where any ore is being processed or smelted. Due to its low permissible exposure limit (PEL), overexposures may occur even in situations where trace quantities of cadmium are found in the parent ore or smelter dust. Cadmium is used extensively in electroplating, although the nature of the operation does not generally lead to overexposures. Several deaths from acute exposure have occurred among welders who have unsuspectingly welded on cadmium-containing alloys or worked with silver solders. Cadmium is also found in some industrial paints and may represent a hazard when sprayed. Operations involving removal of cadmium paints by scraping or blasting may similarly pose a significant hazard. Cadmium is also present in the manufacture of some types of batteries.”

“In addition to cadmium’s use in industry, the toxic metal has also been reported over the past few years to have been found on a number of occasions in children’s jewelry,” reported Ben Sublasky, National Director of Client Services for LA Testing and EMSL Analytical, a leading environmental testing laboratory.  “This news prompted the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to open an investigation into cadmium containing jewelry just last year,” he continued.

LA Testing provides environmental and Reference Exposure Level (REL) testing services for this potentially harmful chemical element.  To learn more about Proposition 65 testing services please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794. 

About LA Testing and EMSL Analytical, Inc.

LA Testing and EMSL Analytical are providers of environmental testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The companies have an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.

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