Cadmium is a naturally occurring metallic element, one of the components of the earth's crust and present everywhere in our environment. Its existence was revealed in 1817. It owes its name to "cadmia fornacum ", the "zinc flowers " which formed on the walls of zinc distillation furnaces.
Cadmium, a soft, malleable, ductile, bluish-white metal, was discovered in Germany in 1817 and for 100 years Germany remained the only important producer. About three-fourths of cadmium is used in batteries; the remaining one-fourth is used for pigments, coatings and plating, and as stabilizers for plastics.