New tool developed by OSHA to keep workers safe from cadmium exposure
On December 11, 2012, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released a new interactive online tool that will help protect employees at risk of being exposed to cadmium, a soft bluish-white metal used in various industries, including metal machining, painting, and welding operations.
The new Cadmium Biological Monitoring Advisor takes biological monitoring results provided by a user and analyzes them. This information, along with information gathered from a questions generated by the cadmium advisor, can help determine the biological monitoring and medical treatment that is required under OSHA's current general industry cadmium standard.
Short-term exposure to cadmium can cause weakness, fever, headache, chills, sweating, and muscle pain, while chronic exposure can damage kidneys and cause lung or prostate cancer.
"Workers may also be exposed from the smelting and refining of metals or from air in industrial plants that manufacture batteries, coatings, or plastics," OSHA stated. "The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry estimates that about 300,000 workers in the U.S. face exposure to cadmium each year."