Statistics in brief - Cadmium in phosphate fertilisers

Amount of Cadmium in phosphate fertilisers

Graph - Volumes of Cadmium in fertilizers in Sweden 1995-2011.

Source: Statistics Sweden "Statistics on sales of fertilisers for agricultural and horticultural purpose".

Cadmium is a toxic metal. In the Swedish Environmental Objectives it has been decided that new products as far as possible should be free of cadmium. Furthermore, the concentration of cadmium in food should be so low that it does not damage health.

The metal is an impurity in the phosphate rock used to manufacture fertilisers. By decreasing the concentration of cadmium in phosphate fertilisers the amount of cadmium added to arable land decreased. Also the sale of phosphate fertilisers has decreased since the beginning of the 1980s. However in 2010/11 the cadmium amount grew to 59 kg, an effect partly of an increased sale of phosphate fertilisers since the year before, partly because of a higher concentration of cadmium in phosphate fertilisers.