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Disease from Cadmium



In the year 1s17 Stromeyer discovered the metal known as cadmium in oxide of zinc, and it has since been obtained from calamine and other compounds of zinc. It exists as a native com pound, as the sulphide, in what is called Greenockite, in Renfrew shire, and some of the compounds of it, the green sub-oxide especially, and the sulphide or cadmium yellow, are used in the arts as pigments. Some of the salts of cadmium have been ap plied to medicinal purposes, and are found to have an emetic action, but their use is comparatively limited.

The white carbonate of cadmium is said to be used in the form of a fine powder for the purpose of cleaning or burnishing plate, and from the absorption of this powder symptoms of a very serious character have occurred. Dr. Sovet published the first account of these phenomena. He records three cases of accidents from the use of cadmium in the manner described. The symp toms observed, brought on from the absorption of the powder used in cleaning plate, were well marked, and were of a choleraic character. They consisted of giddiness, followed by difficulty of breathing, and afterwards by vomiting and diarrhoea. There was great exhaustion, and severe cramps in the legs. Recovery took place iu every case.

powder and absorption