Background | Name | Sources | Uses | Substitutes and Alternative Sources Background
Cadmium is a very soft, silvery-white metallic element. Its atomic number is 48 and its symbol is Cd. It is so soft that it can be cut with a knife. Cadmium has many chemical similarities to zinc, but is less reactive with acids than is zinc.
Cadmium is clearly toxic to animals, and during the past few decades has become familiar to the public mainly due to its undesirable presence in fertilizers and elsewhere, rather than for its positive industrial applications. Metallic cadmium is rarely used industrially in pure form.