Chromium and Cadmium

Chromium Uses

Chromium is used for improving blood sugar control in people with prediabetes, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, or high blood sugar from taking steroids.

It is also used for depression and to  lower “bad” cholesterol, and raise “good” cholesterol in people taking heart medications called beta blockers.

Chromium has been famous for creating color pigments of orange. But since the pigment darkens because of exposure to air over time, and it contains lead, a toxic, heavy metal, it was later replaced by another pigment, Cadmium Yellow (mixed with enough Cadmium Orange to produce a color equivalent to chrome yellow).

Some people try chromium for body conditioning including weight loss, increasing muscle, and decreasing body fat. Chromium is also used to improve athletic performance and to increase energy. Chromium is a needed human nutrient and ingredient in a wide range of industrial applications.

Life Without Chromium

It would be hard to imagine a world without chromium. Chromium products help power industry and add to the color and comfort of our lives and preserve natural materials. Chromium forms up to 20% of stainless steel. Imagine life without stainless steel!

The high melting point of chromic oxide makes it useful in high temperature refractory bricks (ceramic material used in lining furnaces, kilns, fireboxes, and fireplaces). With out Chromium there would be no fire places! There would also be no fire works- how would you celebrate the 4th of July?

In kitchens and hospitals Chromium provides those smooth, easy to clean surfaces where hygiene is essential. Imagine, without Chromium more people can get sick because surfaces are not cleaned properly.

Chromium is a basic to high quality audio, data and video tapes, and is used in photographic chemicals, paints, plastics, concrete and other building materials. That would mean without Chromium, NO high quality audio, NO paint, NO plastic, and worst of all, NO concrete roads.

Chromium products are used both to tan leather and preserve wood. Nearly all leather is tanned with chrome sulfate making it sturdy and long lasting. Without Chromium, we would have to by new furniture more often because furniture wouldn't last as long.

Chrome-based timber preservatives protect wood against insect and fungal attack. It is estimated that using chromium-based timber preservatives saves more than 250 million trees from destruction every year.

Chromium is also an essential human nutrient. Without it individuals can suffer improper function of the nervous system, and a diabetic-like condition. Life without Chromium would mean life with many terrible conditions!

Chromium in Natural Form

Cadmium Uses

Nickel-Cadmium Batteries  Cadmium hydroxide is used as one of the two main materials in Ni-Cd batteries which are used a lot in the railroad and aircraft industry for starting and in consumer applications such as cordless power tools, cellular telephones, camcorders, portable computers, and portable household toys.

Cadmium Pigments  Cadmium sulfide is used in bright yellow to deep red pigments in plastics, ceramics, glasses, enamels and artists colors. They are well known for their ability to resist high temperature and high pressure without chalking or fading, and therefore are used in applications where high temperature or high pressure processing is required.

Cadmium Coatings  Cadmium coatings are used on steel, aluminium, and certain metal fasteners and moving parts to help them last longer without withering.

Alloys and Minor Uses  Cadmium alloys include (a) electrical and heat alloys. Another minor use of cadmium include solar cells.

Life Without Cadmium

Life without Cadmium would mean life without Ni-Cd batteries which are used a lot in the railroad and aircraft industry for starting and in consumer applications such as cordless power tools, cellular telephones, camcorders, portable computers, and portable household toys. Think about all your favorite portable household toys gone forever! Numerous coatings on air crafts are available today to protect or to enhance the performance of aircraft components. Enhancements include corrosion protection, increasing wear resistance, improving electrical conductivity, increasing hardness, or improving the stickiness between cemented parts. Also steal, aluminum, and other metal fasteners and moving parts wouldn't last as long without withering. Also there would be no solar cells or solar panels, so there would be more wastage of fossil fuels. Life without Cadmium would come with a lot of disadvantages.

Cadmium as a Metal

Sources

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