Cadmium (Cd)

CAS Number



  • toxic heavy metal

Main sources

  • waste incineration
  • steelworks (founding of metal waste)
  • industrial boilers (coal combustion)
  • corrosion protection work
  • treatment of cadmium-containing products (e.g. pigments, stabilisers, batteries, alloys)

Thresholds for the reporting requirement of facilities in accordance with Annex 2 PRTRO

(Ordinance on the Register relating to Pollutant Release and the Transfer of Waste and of Pollutants in Waste Water)

  • Air               10 kg/year
  • Water          5 kg/year
  • Soil              5 kg/year


  • toxic to humans and animals if exposure is chronic (accumulates in body)
  • carcinogenic in bioavailable form
  • toxic to plants and microorganisms
  • reduces soil fertility

Ambient limit values

In particulate matter (PM10) 1.5 ng/m3 annual mean (arithmetic mean)
In dust fall out 2 µg/m2 day annual mean (arithmetic mean)


  • flue gas cleaning system
  • cadmium is removed from many products

Status and changes

Cadmium emissions still make up around one-fifth of the highest values (1970). Cadmium levels in particulate matter have been cut in half since 1991. Cadmium levels in dust fall out have also declined. As a rule, the measured heavy metal loads are way below the limit values of the Ordinance on Air Pollution Control.

Further information

Last modification 04.07.2018

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