New online tool helps assess cadmium exposure
The Cadmium Biological Monitoring Advisor, a new online tool from OSHA, analyzes biological monitoring results provided by the user. These data, along with a series of answers to questions generated by the cadmium advisor, are used to determine the biological monitoring and medical surveillance requirements that must be met under the general industry cadmium standard (29 CFR 1910.1027). These requirements include the frequency of additional monitoring and other mandatory components of the employer's medical surveillance program.
Cadmium is a soft, silver-white metal used in many industries including metal machining, plastics, ceramics, painting and welding operations. Short-term exposure to cadmium can cause weakness, fever, headache, chills, sweating and muscular pain. Chronic cadmium poisoning can cause kidney damage and cancer of the lung or prostate. Cadmium also is believed to cause pulmonary emphysema and bone disease. The cadmium advisor is primarily intended for use by experienced medical professionals who assess workers' cadmium exposure. It may also be useful as an educational tool for workers and members of the general public by providing information on what constitutes overexposure to cadmium and what to do to prevent exposure on the job.