- A metallic element whose salts are toxic and cause cancer. Cadmium and cadmium compounds were upgraded in 2000 by the US government to the status of "known human carcinogens." These materials are used in batteries, coating and plating, plastic and synthetic products and alloys, and have been found to carry an increased risk of lung cancers in workers exposed to cadmium and cadmium compounds.
* * *A metallic element, atomic no. 48, atomic wt. 112.411; its salts are poisonous and little used in medicine. Various compounds of c. are used commercially in metallurgy, photography, electrochemistry, etc.; a few have been used as ascaricides, antiseptics, and fungicides. [L. cadmia, fr. G. kadmeia or kadmia, an ore of zinc, calamine]
* * *cad·mi·um 'kad-mē-əm n a bluish white malleable ductile toxic bivalent metallic element used esp. in protective platings and in bearing metals symbol Cd see ELEMENT (table)
* * *n.a silvery metallic element that can cause serious lung irritation if the fumes of the molten metal are inhaled. Long-term exposure may also cause kidney damage. Symbol: Cd.
* * *cad·mi·um (Cd) (kadґme-əm) [Gr. kadmia earth] a bivalent metal, similar to tin in appearance and properties; atomic number 48, atomic weight 112.40. Cadmium and its salts are poisonous; see cadmium poisoning, cadmiosis, and cadmium lung.
Medical dictionary. 2011.