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Cadmium in plastic

Cadmium in plastic

Cadmium in plastic


I just got a question from one of our managers concerning cadmium in plastic. What is it for? Is it in the colouring of the plastic or is it to make the plastic soft? Or something else?

Best regards,


RE: Cadmium in plastic

Traditionaly some colours contained cadmium.

It was mainly present in bright strong red colours with good heat stability, and was therefore popular for colouring plastics.

Its use in colourants has been banned or discouraged in most if not all developed countries


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RE: Cadmium in plastic

Sorry, It's 20 years since I worked in a colour application lab.

Banning cadmium was certainly a pressing issue then. It is not often that these things are reversed. Maybe some common sense or political clout prevailed


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RE: Cadmium in plastic

Up to a few years ago, Cadmium was also very much used in some types of PVC-stabilizers (so-called "mixed-metal-stabilizers", some of which were based on a mixture of Ba- and Cd-compounds or BaPbCa-compounds). In some countries they are still being used for window frames made of rigid PVC but are, to my knowledge, set to be banned worldwide in the next few years.

RE: Cadmium in plastic

Hi Guys,                                                                               

Thanks for all the info.

PrentP> I read the article and they did NOT reverse it, they just don't impose FURTHER restrictions on cadmium:

Quote: The European Commission voted earlier this year to impose no further restrictions on the marketing and use of cadmium pigments for use in plastics, halting the trend of recent years to reduce the number of applications in which these pigments are permitted.

Yada yada yada, blah, blah, blah.

gambro> I will investigate the suggestion on meta-stabilizers.



RE: Cadmium in plastic

FYI - if you have cadmium in your plant in ANY amount for ANY reason, you have to at least read and have a written response/record of declaration to the OSHA regulation on Cadmium found in 29 CFR 1910.

RE: Cadmium in plastic

If you want to know more about mixed-metal stabilizers I suggest the following book : Plastic Additives Handbook by Hans Zweifel, Hanser Publications. Go to the Hanser website. One of the book excerpts they placed in the internet is the chapter on PVC stabilizers.

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