Investigation into the effects of planned restrictions with regard to the use, circulation and substitution of cadmium in products.
The EC-directive 91/338/EWG puts a ban on cadmium for special applications. In the FRG, for all applications included in that directive cadmium is already substituted today. The substitution of cadmium stabilizers will be completed in the near future. The use of cadmium for corrosion protection has been also greatly diminished. Only the substitution of cadmium pigments in red and yellow "high engineering plastics" and keramic glazes cannot be realized presently. The substitution of cadmium for the colouring of plastics lags behind the technical feasibilities. The nickel/hydrogen accumulator, which is available now, and the lithium accumulator will probably cut back the growing consumpton rate of cadmium for sealed nickel/cadmium cells. There are sufficiently large capacities for the recycling of nickel/cadmium accumulators available but the number of accumulators returned is still low. Although the EC-directive 91/157 allows a deposit on batteries containing environmetally hazardous su bstances, its introduction is not currently planned. Cadmium polluted zinc, lead and copper and especially phosphate fertilizers are responsible for a considerable amount of cadmium input into the environment. A threshold limit for cadmium in phosphate ferilizers for the entire EC is not to be expected in the near future.