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"What compound is cadmium bloom/whiskers?"





February 23, 2010

I am in the environmental health/industrial hygiene field and recently fielded a question regarding "cadmium bloom". I know generally what this refers to but I am trying to determine what the actual chemical composition of the "whiskers" might be in order to assess worker health risk.

Jamie Chilton
aviation contractor - Huntsville, Alabama, USA
^


February , 2010

Hi, Jamie. That's a good question. From the fact that metal whiskers cause electrical shorts, and from knowing that alloying the metals (such as adding lead to tin) reduces whiskering problems, and from the fact that they are a stress induced phenomenon, my supposition has always been that they are relatively pure metal. But I've never analyzed them.

I have never heard the term "bloom" used to refer to whiskers, though -- so that may be a different phenomenon.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^


February 25, 2010

Thanks for your reply. As far as I know, the term "bloom" does refer to the formation of whiskers and is the same condition. I saw one reference online to the whiskers being "highly toxic" but not to the composition.

Jamie Chilton
- Huntsville, Alabama, USA
^

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