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Cadmium

  • Cadmium is a naturally occurring element in the earth's crust. Low levels are in all soils and rocks. Cadmium can also be released into the environment from industrial activities such as: mining, smelting, and refining; combustion of fossil fuels; and incineration of municipal waste.
  • If your water comes from a public water supply, it will regularly be tested for cadmium.
  • If your water comes from a private well the only way to know if there is cadmium in the water is to test it. If cadmium levels are above 0.005 milligrams per Liter (mg/L) consider appropriate treatment/filtration options, or consuming water from a different source.
  • It is important to test your well water before choosing a treatment system.
  • Food is the primary source of cadmium environmental exposure for the general population. Cadmium is found in foods such as: root vegetables, grains, legumes, shellfish (muscles, oysters, and scallops) and organ meat.
  • Cadmium is also found in cigarette smoke, batteries, inexpensive jewelry and some imported toys, some color pigments used for paints on glassware, ceramic pots, and plastics, some phosphate fertilizers and soil amendments.
  • Long-term exposure (usually more than 2-5 years) to high amounts of cadmium in food or drinking water may be related to kidney problems and may decrease bone density. Children may be more sensitive to bone problems related to cadmium exposure.
  • Testing your private well water is the best way to know the amount of cadmium in your drinking water.
  • Cadmium is a naturally occurring element in the earth's crust. Low levels are in all soils and rocks. Cadmium can also be released into the environment from industrial activities.
  • Public water systems should not have cadmium above 0.005 milligrams per liter (mg/L) to comply with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Safe Drinking Water Act standards.
  • To find the quality of your public drinking water contact your community water system provider.
  • If you are on a private well, have your drinking water tested regularly. If cadmium levels are above 0.005 milligrams per liter (mg/L) consider appropriate treatment/filtration options, or consuming water from a different source.
Treatment of water can vary depending on water chemistry. It is important to test your water before choosing a water treatment system. A licensed well contractor or water quality professional may help with choosing the right treatment system for your water chemistry. Learn how to hire a contractor from wellowner.org.

For additional guidance choosing a treatment system certified to remove cadmium consult with the Water Quality Association or at 630-505-0160 or NSF international (formerly the National Sanitation Foundation) or at 1-800-NSF-MARK (1-800-673-6275).

Learn more about testing

Learn more about private well water and treatment
If you get your water from a public drinking water system, contact:
If you get your water from a private well, you should have your well water tested:
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Content updated: Mon, 22 Apr 2019 16:23:46 MDT