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After researching the element cadmium for my chemistry class, I have found some things that are concerning to me.

Cadmium is most commonly found in cigarettes, as a by-product of zinc processing, is present as a stabilizer in plastics, used in solar panels and is a major component in nickel-cadmium batteries (NiCad).

If cadmium is inhaled or ingested, it is fatal to humans. Finding alternatives to using products containing cadmium is the best solution for consumers.

Lithium batteries are an option; smokers could find cadmium-free cigarettes.

It is important for consumers to be informed but it is also important for manufacturers to take responsibility for these threats to human health.

If a manufacturer creates a product that is harmful, they should not put that product on the market.

Our haphazard arrangement of safety regulations are not reliable enough to keep everyone or our environment safe.

We should start holding manufacturers accountable for safe products and for reclaiming the components of products they produce.

How can we put consumer pressure on companies to take more responsibility?

Vedarose Bernstein, Viroqua

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