The International Cadmium Association (ICdA) is pleased to announce that its Eighth International Cadmium Conference was held in Kunming, Yunnan Province, China on November 10-13, 2011. The conference was organized in cooperation with Shanghai Metals Market (SMM) and was attended by almost 100 delegates from approximately 20 countries. The theme of the conference was the risk management of cadmium, and included sessions on markets and applications for cadmium, controlling cadmium exposure in occupational settings, cadmium emissions to the environment, and risk management of cadmium in the general population.
The applications and markets session included an overview of the applications in which cadmium and its compounds are employed today and an historical perspective on how these uses have changed in the past fifty years. At present, it is the nickel-cadmium battery industry in China which dominates worldwide usage, and speakers from Jiangsu Highstar, Zhuzhou and the Beijing General Research Institute of Mining & Metallurgy presented excellent insight into cadmium production, technology and use in China today. First Solar Inc. brought the audience up-to-date on developments in the exciting new and rapidly expanding cadmium telluride solar cell field, the fastest growing application for cadmium today.
Cadmium’s human health effects were incisively reviewed by academic and institutional experts from North America, Europe and Asia, while its environmental effects were summarized by researchers from Belgium, a country with a well-established history of cadmium investigations. Presentations summarizing and reviewing regulations worldwide and most specifically for China were also made.
The second day of the conference was devoted to managing cadmium risks and controlling cadmium exposures, in the occupational setting, the environment, and the general population. Industry presentations demonstrated how cadmium exposure is now effectively being controlled at the workplace to meet the increasingly stringent cadmium occupational standards. World acknowledged experts on cadmium in soils, foods and historically contaminated areas detailed the important factors which determine whether or not cadmium in soils and foods will affect human health, and showed that the simultaneous presence of zinc in soils contaminated with cadmium largely mitigates any adverse effects of cadmium.
The final conference session described in detail programs that the cadmium industry has undertaken to ensure minimal risks to the general population from cadmium in products. These included worldwide programs to collect and recycle nickel-cadmium batteries and cadmium telluride solar cells, and minimization of cadmium exposure from cadmium pigments throughout the entire life cycle of cadmium-pigmented products. The need to eliminate the presence of cadmium in alloys or coatings for children’s jewelry or toys was acknowledged and supported.
The International Cadmium Association and Shanghai Metals Markets were especially encouraged by the large participation of Chinese delegates, the information exchanged between delegates and speakers, and the informal discussions held during coffee breaks, the gala dinner which was sponsored by Floridienne Chimie S.A., and the sightseeing tour of The Stone Forest in Shilin, Yunnan, held after the conclusion of the conference. Many attendees suggested to the conference organizers that this information exchange continue in the future through subsequent cadmium conferences and/or workshops.
Further information on the Eighth International Cadmium Conference may also be obtained from any of the following contacts below: