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WAC 296-62-07441: Appendix A, substance safety data sheet—Cadmium

Published: 2015

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WACs > Title 296 > Chapter 296-62 > Section 296-62-07441



No agency filings affecting this section since 2003

WAC 296-62-07441

Appendix A, substance safety data sheet—Cadmium.

(1) Substance identification.
(a) Substance: Cadmium.
(b) 8-Hour, time-weighted-average, permissible exposure limit (TWA PEL):
(c) TWA PEL: Five micrograms of cadmium per cubic meter of air 5 µg/m3, time-weighted average (TWA) for an 8-hour workday.
(d) Appearance: Cadmium metal—soft, blue-white, malleable, lustrous metal or grayish-white powder. Some cadmium compounds may also appear as a brown, yellow, or red powdery substance.
(2) Health hazard data.
(a) Routes of exposure. Cadmium can cause local skin or eye irritation. Cadmium can affect your health if you inhale it or if you swallow it.
(b) Effects of overexposure.
(i) Short-term (acute) exposure: Cadmium is much more dangerous by inhalation than by ingestion. High exposures to cadmium that may be immediately dangerous to life or health occur in jobs where workers handle large quantities of cadmium dust or fume; heat cadmium-containing compounds or cadmium-coated surfaces; weld with cadmium solders or cut cadmium-containing materials such as bolts.
(ii) Severe exposure may occur before symptoms appear. Early symptoms may include mild irritation of the upper respiratory tract, a sensation of constriction of the throat, a metallic taste and/or a cough. A period of one to ten hours may precede the onset of rapidly progressing shortness of breath, chest pain, and flu-like symptoms with weakness, fever, headache, chills, sweating, and muscular pain. Acute pulmonary edema usually develops within twenty-four hours and reaches a maximum by three days. If death from asphyxia does not occur, symptoms may resolve within a week.
(iii) Long-term (chronic) exposure. Repeated or long-term exposure to cadmium, even at relatively low concentrations, may result in kidney damage and an increased risk of cancer of the lung and of the prostate.
(c) Emergency first-aid procedures.
(i) Eye exposure: Direct contact may cause redness or pain. Wash eyes immediately with large amounts of water, lifting the upper and lower eyelids. Get medical attention immediately.
(ii) Skin exposure: Direct contact may result in irritation. Remove contaminated clothing and shoes immediately. Wash affected area with soap or mild detergent and large amounts of water. Get medical attention immediately.
(iii) Ingestion: Ingestion may result in vomiting, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, headache, and sore throat. Treatment for symptoms must be administered by medical personnel. Under no circumstances should the employer allow any person whom he/she retains, employs, supervises, or controls to engage in therapeutic chelation. Such treatment is likely to translocate cadmium from pulmonary or other tissue to renal tissue. Get medical attention immediately.
(iv) Inhalation: If large amounts of cadmium are inhaled, the exposed person must be moved to fresh air at once. If breathing has stopped, perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Administer oxygen if available. Keep the affected person warm and at rest. Get medical attention immediately.
(v) Rescue: Move the affected person from the hazardous exposure. If the exposed person has been overcome, attempt rescue only after notifying at least one other person of the emergency and putting into effect established emergency procedures. Do not become a casualty yourself. Understand your emergency rescue procedures and know the location of the emergency equipment before the need arises.
(3) Employee information.
(a) Protective clothing and equipment.
(i) Respirators: You may be required to wear a respirator for nonroutine activities; in emergencies; while your employer is in the process of reducing cadmium exposures through engineering controls; and where engineering controls are not feasible. If air-purifying respirators are worn, they must have a label issued by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) under the provisions of 42 C.F.R. part 84 stating that the respirators have been certified for use with cadmium. Cadmium does not have a detectable odor except at levels well above the permissible exposure limits. If you can smell cadmium while wearing a respirator, proceed immediately to fresh air. If you experience difficulty breathing while wearing a respirator, tell your employer.
(ii) Protective clothing: You may be required to wear impermeable clothing, gloves, foot gear, a face shield, or other appropriate protective clothing to prevent skin contact with cadmium. Where protective clothing is required, your employer must provide clean garments to you as necessary to assure that the clothing protects you adequately. The employer must replace or repair protective clothing that has become torn or otherwise damaged.
(iii) Eye protection: You may be required to wear splash-proof or dust resistant goggles to prevent eye contact with cadmium.
(b) Employer requirements.
(i) Medical: If you are exposed to cadmium at or above the action level, your employer is required to provide a medical examination, laboratory tests and a medical history according to the medical surveillance provisions under WAC 296-62-07423. (See summary chart and tables in this section, appendix A.) These tests shall be provided without cost to you. In addition, if you are accidentally exposed to cadmium under conditions known or suspected to constitute toxic exposure to cadmium, your employer is required to make special tests available to you.
(ii) Access to records: All medical records are kept strictly confidential. You or your representative are entitled to see the records of measurements of your exposure to cadmium. Your medical examination records can be furnished to your personal physician or designated representative upon request by you to your employer.
(iii) Observation of monitoring: Your employer is required to perform measurements that are representative of your exposure to cadmium and you or your designated representative are entitled to observe the monitoring procedure. You are entitled to observe the steps taken in the measurement procedure, and to record the results obtained. When the monitoring procedure is taking place in an area where respirators or personal protective clothing and equipment are required to be worn, you or your representative must also be provided with, and must wear the protective clothing and equipment.
(c) Employee requirements. You will not be able to smoke, eat, drink, chew gum or tobacco, or apply cosmetics while working with cadmium in regulated areas. You will also not be able to carry or store tobacco products, gum, food, drinks, or cosmetics in regulated areas because these products easily become contaminated with cadmium from the workplace and can therefore create another source of unnecessary cadmium exposure. Some workers will have to change out of work clothes and shower at the end of the day, as part of their workday, in order to wash cadmium from skin and hair. Handwashing and cadmium-free eating facilities shall be provided by the employer and proper hygiene should always be performed before eating. It is also recommended that you do not smoke or use tobacco products, because among other things, they naturally contain cadmium. For further information, read the labeling on such products.
(4) Physician information.
(a) Introduction. The medical surveillance provisions of WAC 296-62-07423 generally are aimed at accomplishing three main interrelated purposes: First, identifying employees at higher risk of adverse health effects from excess, chronic exposure to cadmium; second, preventing cadmium-induced disease; and third, detecting and minimizing existing cadmium-induced disease. The core of medical surveillance in this standard is the early and periodic monitoring of the employee's biological indicators of:
(i) Recent exposure to cadmium;
(ii) Cadmium body burden; and
(iii) Potential and actual kidney damage associated with exposure to cadmium. The main adverse health effects associated with cadmium overexposure are lung cancer and kidney dysfunction. It is not yet known how to adequately biologically monitor human beings to specifically prevent cadmium-induced lung cancer. By contrast, the kidney can be monitored to provide prevention and early detection of cadmium-induced kidney damage. Since, for noncarcinogenic effects, the kidney is considered the primary target organ of chronic exposure to cadmium, the medical surveillance provisions of this standard effectively focus on cadmium-induced kidney disease. Within that focus, the aim, where possible, is to prevent the onset of such disease and, where necessary, to minimize such disease as may already exist. The by-products of successful prevention of kidney disease are anticipated to be the reduction and prevention of other cadmium-induced diseases.
(b) Health effects. The major health effects associated with cadmium overexposure are described below.
(i) Kidney: The most prevalent nonmalignant disease observed among workers chronically exposed to cadmium is kidney dysfunction. Initially, such dysfunction is manifested as proteinuria. The proteinuria associated with cadmium exposure is most commonly characterized by excretion of low-molecular weight proteins (15,000 to 40,000 MW) accompanied by loss of electrolytes, uric acid, calcium, amino acids, and phosphate. The compounds commonly excreted include: Beta-2-microglobulin (β2-M), retinol binding protein (RBP), immunoglobulin light chains, and lysozyme. Excretion of low molecular weight proteins are characteristic of damage to the proximal tubules of the kidney (Iwao et al., 1980). It has also been observed that exposure to cadmium may lead to urinary excretion of high-molecular weight proteins such as albumin, immunoglobulin G, and glycoproteins (Ex. 29). Excretion of high-molecular weight proteins is typically indicative of damage to the glomeruli of the kidney. Bernard et al., (1979) suggest that damage to the glomeruli and damage to the proximal tubules of the kidney may both be linked to cadmium exposure but they may occur independently of each other. Several studies indicate that the onset of low-molecular weight proteinuria is a sign of irreversible kidney damage (Friberg et al., 1974; Roels et al., 1982; Piscator 1984; Elinder et al., 1985; Smith et al., 1986). Above specific levels of β2-M associated with cadmium exposure it is unlikely that β2-M levels return to normal even when cadmium exposure is eliminated by removal of the individual from the cadmium work environment (Friberg, Ex. 29, 1990). Some studies indicate that such proteinuria may be progressive; levels of β2-M observed in the urine increase with time even after cadmium exposure has ceased. See, for example, Elinder et al., 1985. Such observations, however, are not universal, and it has been suggested that studies in which proteinuria has not been observed to progress may not have tracked patients for a sufficiently long time interval (Jarup, Ex. 8-661). When cadmium exposure continues after the onset of proteinuria, chronic nephrotoxicity may occur (Friberg, Ex. 29). Uremia results from the inability of the glomerulus to adequately filter blood. This leads to severe disturbance of electrolyte concentrations and may lead to various clinical complications including kidney stones (L-140-50). After prolonged exposure to cadmium, glomerular proteinuria, glucosuria, aminoaciduria, phosphaturia, and hypercalciuria may develop (Exs. 8-86, 4-28, 14-18). Phosphate, calcium, glucose, and amino acids are essential to life, and under normal conditions, their excretion should be regulated by the kidney. Once low molecular weight proteinuria has developed, these elements dissipate from the human body. Loss of glomerular function may also occur, manifested by decreased glomerular filtration rate and increased serum creatinine. Severe cadmium-induced renal damage may eventually develop into chronic renal failure and uremia (Ex. 55). Studies in which animals are chronically exposed to cadmium confirm the renal effects observed in humans (Friberg et al., 1986). Animal studies also confirm problems with calcium metabolism and related skeletal effects which have been observed among humans exposed to cadmium in addition to the renal effects. Other effects commonly reported in chronic animal studies include anemia, changes in liver morphology, immunosuppression and hypertension. Some of these effects may be associated with co-factors. Hypertension, for example, appears to be associated with diet as well as cadmium exposure. Animals injected with cadmium have also shown testicular necrosis (Ex. 8-86B).
(ii) Biological markers. It is universally recognized that the best measures of cadmium exposures and its effects are measurements of cadmium in biological fluids, especially urine and blood. Of the two, CdU is conventionally used to determine body burden of cadmium in workers without kidney disease. CdB is conventionally used to monitor for recent exposure to cadmium. In addition, levels of CdU and CdB historically have been used to predict the percent of the population likely to develop kidney disease (Thun et al., Ex. L-140-50; WHO, Ex. 8-674; ACGIH, Exs. 8-667, 140-50). The third biological parameter upon which WISHA relies for medical surveillance is beta-2-microglobulin in urine (β2-M), a low molecular weight protein. Excess β2-M has been widely accepted by physicians and scientists as a reliable indicator of functional damage to the proximal tubule of the kidney (Exs. 8-447, 144-3-C, 4-47, L-140-45, 19-43-A). Excess β2-M is found when the proximal tubules can no longer reabsorb this protein in a normal manner. This failure of the proximal tubules is an early stage of a kind of kidney disease that commonly occurs among workers with excessive cadmium exposure. Used in conjunction with biological test results indicating abnormal levels of CdU and CdB, the finding of excess β2-M can establish for an examining physician that any existing kidney disease is probably cadmium-related (Trs. 6/6/90, pp. 82-86, 122, 134). The upper limits of normal levels for cadmium in urine and cadmium in blood are 3 µg Cd/gram creatinine in urine and 5 µgCd/liter whole blood, respectively. These levels were derived from broad-based population studies. Three issues confront the physicians in the use of β2-M as a marker of kidney dysfunction and material impairment. First, there are a few other causes of elevated levels of β2-M not related to cadmium exposures, some of which may be rather common diseases and some of which are serious diseases (e.g., myeloma or transient flu, Exs. 29 and 8-086). These can be medically evaluated as alternative causes (Friberg, Ex. 29). Also, there are other factors that can cause β2-M to degrade so that low levels would result in workers with tubular dysfunction. For example, regarding the degradation of β2-M, workers with acidic urine (pH