Examining Common Water Contaminants: Cadmium

Common Water Contaminants: Cadmium

Examining Common Water Contaminants: Cadmium

A chemical element, cadmium is found in a number of naturally-occurring things. These include zinc, coal and other fossil fuels, lead ore, copper oar and shales. It is also released during volcanic action and in major industrial releases. It is most commonly found in drinking water due to the deterioration of galvanized plumbing or due to industrial waste contamination or surface contamination of certain types of fertilizers.

Health Effects of Cadmium

Since cadmium is found in certain foods, particularly leafy vegetables, it is not necessarily harmful to ingest in small doses. Ingesting large amounts, however, can cause illness. Some of the effects associated with acute exposure to cadmium include:

  • Convulsions
  • Diarrhea
  • Liver Injury
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Nausea
  • Renal Failure
  • Salivation
  • Sensory Disturbances
  • Shock
  • Vomiting

For this reason, the US Environmental Protection Agency has established a Maximum Contaminant Level of 0.005 milligrams per liter of cadmium in drinking water. Drinking water is considered to be safe for short-tem exposure in a child weight up to 22 pounds at levels of 0.04 mg/L if consuming one liter of water per day for up to ten days. Long-term exposure to cadmium has the potential to cause kidney, bone, liver or blood damage.

Removing Cadmium from Water

Cadmium can be removed from water by using a strong acid cation resin that is regenerated with salt. Since strong acid cation resins have a higher selectiviey for Cadmium than hardness, a water softener system can effectively remove it from drinking water. Cadmium can also be removed by coagulation, precipitation and filtration treatment when the pH is raised, or it can be removed as part of a lime softening process. To learn more about removing cadmium or other contaminants from your drinking water, contact Pump Service Idaho today! We will be happy to test your water and to help create a plan to get your Magic Valley Idaho drinking water as clean and safe as possible.

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