Cadmium is a metal which is found in rechargeable batteries, artist’s paint, electronics, and old plastic, and as a pollutant in foodstuffs, tobacco, artificial manure and fuels. It is toxic to the environment and can also cause osteoporosis, kidney damage and cancer. The most common way for cadmium to enter the body is through food. This is because plants easily absorb cadmium from the soil. Cadmium enters the soil through airborne emissions resulting from the production of, say, electricity and heating, the faulty incineration of rechargeable batteries and different kinds of fertilisers.
There are rules governing how much cadmium may be present in such products as toys, plastics, jewellery, electrical products and watches.