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topic 17967

Removal of cadmium coated bolts


I am Currently working on a bridge in the UK where the existing bolts are cadmium coated. I am just trying to find out more about the problem of working with cadmium, with reference to using heat equipment for removal. I already understand that the cadmium coating being used is Carcinogenic when heat is applied. what is the safe working practice for cadmium - does the excess material have to be stored in toxic skips because of the dangers associated with the coating and what precautions should be used for operatives removing these bolts if any?

Dave Wenn
- UK


The law may be an ass, but it still takes precedence over opinion and common sense. So the first thing you need to do is to study your national laws for anything they may have to say on the subject; it would not surprise me to find some specific regulations covering this. But if they are silent, then I would suggest wearing whatever degree of respiratory protection that would not materially increase the other dangers a bridge worker is exposed to. At the very least, do the work on a breezy day and not behind any curtains which would increase operator exposure to the fumes.

Here in the U.S.A., even consumers are not permitted to trash items that contain cadmium, like Ni-Cd batteries, so I would be virtually sure that the old hardware would be considered toxic.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
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