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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals and minerals 1978-79
Year 1978-79, Volume 1 (1978-1979)

Lucas, John M.
Cadmium,   pp. 139-145 ff. PDF (722.3 KB)


Page 139

Cadmium 
By John M. Lucas1 
 Domestic production of cadmium metal in 1978 declined 17% from the production
level of 1977, and output in 1979 was 4% higher than in 1978. Shipments of
cadmium in both years increased over those of 1977 but failed to approach
the volume reported during 1976. 
 Six companies operating seven plants produced all of the domestic cadmium
during 1978. An eighth plant, the new electrolytic zinc plant of Jersey Miniere
Zinc Co., came onstream at yearend 1978 and began production of cadmium in
1979. In December 1979, St. Joe Zinc Co. permanently closed its zinc smelter
at Monaca, Pa., where byproduct cadmium was also produced. Canada continued
as the major source of imported zinc concentrates from which cadmium was
extracted as a byproduct. The producer price of cadmium, in a range of $2.25
to $2.50 per pound, remained unchanged throughout 1978. By the close of 1979,
the producer price ranged from $2.50 to $3 per pound. 
 Legislation and Government Programs.—In 1978, the Environmental
Protection
Agency (EPA) proposed limits on cadmium in specific categories of solid waste
destined for agricultural application on lands used for the production of
foodchain crops or meats for human consuinption.2 
 On July 11, 1978, EPA issued final effluent limitation guidelines for existing
facilities operating within the ore mining and dressing point-source category.
The regulation defined limits on cadmium and other substances discharged
in effluents originating from specified types of ore milling and concentrating
operations.~ 
 The proposed approach for implementation of the Toxic Substances Control
Act of 
1976 was published by EPA on October 26, 
1978. EPA proposed to regulate the manufacture, distribution, use, or dispersal
of 
certain substances, including cadmium and 
any of its compounds.4 
 In December 1978, a quality-control standard suggested by the decorated
glass tumbler industry was, with some modification, endorsed by a Federal
interagency regulatory task force consisting of EPA, the Food and Drug Administration,
and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Industrial compliance with the
voluntary quality-control program, which defines the application of cadmium
and lead, assures no significant risk to decorated glassware users.5 
 The occupational health and environmental aspects of cadmium and the requirements
for additional research were discussed at the 1978 International Conference
on Cadmium, cosponsored by the National Institute of Environmental Health
Sciences of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and the
Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. 
 Effective October 1979, EPA promulgated final regulations on the concentration
of cadmium and other pollutants contained in process waste water from plating
operations and destined for publicly owned treatment works. The deadline
for compliance with this regulation was set for October 12, 1982.6 
 Under the provisions of the Water Pollution Control Loan Program, the Small
Business Administration may grant direct loans or loan guarantees of up to
90% for terms of up to 30 years to small electroplaters certifled to have
been adversely affected by EPA's proposed pretreatment standards for the
electroplating point-source category. 
 In September 1979, EPA issued interim final criteria for the classification
and application of cadmium-bearing solid waste to land used for the production
of food-chain crops.7 
 The national stockpile goal for cadmium of 11,204 metric tons remained unchanged
through 1979.8 The total inventory at yearend 1979 was 2,871 tons, with no
acquisitions or releases in 1978 or 1979. 139 


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