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Drinking Water Contaminants- Cadmium

 

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What happens to Cadmium when it is released to the environment?

Some cadmium compounds are able to leach through soils to ground water. When cadmium compounds do bind to the sediments of rivers, they can be more easily bioaccumulated or re-dissolved when sediments are disturbed, such as during flooding. Its tendency to accumulate in aquatic life is great in some species, low in others.

How will Cadmium be detected in and removed from my drinking water?

The regulation for cadmium became effective in 1992. Between 1993 and 1995, EPA required your water supplier to collect water samples once and analyze them to find out if cadmium is present above 5 ppb. If it is present above this level, the system must continue to monitor this contaminant every 3 months.

If contaminant levels are found to be consistently above the MCL, your water supplier must take steps to reduce the amount of cadmium so that it is consistently below that level. The following treatment methods have been approved by EPA for removing cadmium: Coagulation/Filtration, Ion Exchange, Lime Softening, Reverse Osmosis.

How will I know if Cadmium is in my drinking water?

If the levels of cadmium exceed the MCL, the system must notify the public via newspapers, radio, TV and other means. Additional actions, such as providing alternative drinking water supplies, may be required to prevent serious risks to public health.

This is a factsheet about a chemical that may be found in some public or private drinking water supplies. It may cause health problems if found in amounts greater than the health standard set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Drinking Water Standards:

MCLG: 5 ppb

MCL: 5 ppb

Cadmium Releases to Water and Land, 1987 to 1993 (in pounds):

 WaterLand
TOTALS31,4872,059,574

Top Seven States *
AZ503433,035
UT1,750372,010
MT0315,965
TN2,700288,781
ID250225,761
MO2,361189,914
WI0106,000

Major Industries*
Zinc, lead smelting5,061831,948
Copper smelting, refining2,253805,045
Indust. inorganic chems250225,761
Electroplating, anodizing0106,000
Steelworks, blast furnaces513,000
Inorganic pigments5,1407,000


As part of the Drinking Water and Health pages, this fact sheet is part of a larger U.S. EPA publication:
EPA National Primary Drinking Water Regulations

 

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