Cadmium

Maximum Contaminant Level

US EPA:

MCL – 0.005 mg/L or ppm

MCLG – 0.005 mg/L

WHO Guideline – 0.003 mg/L

Cadmium naturally occurs in copper, lead, and zinc ores, as well as in coal and other fossil fuels. Besides these natural deposits, contributors to cadmium in water include the corrosion of galvanized pipes, discharge from metal refineries, industrial waste, or surface water contamination by certain fertilizers. Food is the biggest source of cadmium intake in humans, with leafy vegetables containing about 0.05 – 0.12 mg cadmium/kg. High levels of cadmium can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle cramps, salivation, sensory disturbances, liver damage, convulsions, shock, and renal failure.
Cadmium may be removed from water using the following methods:

  • Coagulation/Filtration
  • Ion Exchange
  • Distillation
  • Lime Softening
  • Reverse Osmosis