Symbol Cd. A soft bluish metal belonging to *group 12 (formerly IIB) of the periodic table; a.n. 48; r.a.m. 112.41; r.d. 8.65; m.p. 320.9°C; b.p. 765°C. The element’s name is derived from the ancient name for calamine, zinc carbonate ZnCO₃, and it is usually found associated with zinc ores, such as sphalerite (ZnS), but does occur as the mineral greenockite (CdS). Cadmium is usually produced as an associate product when zinc, copper, and lead ores are reduced. Cadmium is used in low-melting-point alloys to make solders, in Ni–Cd batteries, in bearing alloys, and in electroplating (over 50%). Cadmium compounds are used as phosphorescent coatings in TV
tubes. Cadmium and its compounds are extremely toxic at low concentrations; great care is essential where solders are used or where fumes are emitted. It has similar chemical properties to zinc but shows a greater tendency towards complex formation. The element was discovered in 1817 by F. Stromeyer.