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Patcon

Cadmium vs Zinc

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I have seen this discussed a number of times on the forum. Has there ever been a definitive answer? Was the hardware on the car originally cadmium plated? I have never really been able to determine if that was in fact the case. I have been having some health issues lately and am trying to run down possible sources of exposure to heavy metals. Cadmium being one of them.

Thanks, Charles

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1 hour ago, jfa.series1 said:

Cadmium has a distinctive color and finish I've never seen on an original car.

I would have guessed cad, simply from the time frame involved. But it's simply a guess.

So have you got any examples of the two that you could post as a pic? I thought they looked pretty much the same. Difference as was described to me was cad was a little darker while zinc was a little lighter and brighter.

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Hmmm... I lost a post somehow? Thought I had responded twice, but only one of them came through.

@Patcon That doesn't sound like fun. Do you think you may have aerosolized the plating while stripping it from the parts?

And did your Dr. ask you about the metals first based on symptons, or are just looking for ideas?

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I haven't gone to the doctor yet because I'm uninsured and don't want to get flagged before I come up with some kind of coverage. I have been having some symptoms and the more I look, the more they sound like heavy metal toxicity. Tongue tingling, back pain, easily winded, balance issues, burning and tingling in my feet. Now that could be from a lot of different metals, zinc, lead, cadmium, steel, copper. Cadmium has the potential to be a real problem because it can cause low iron deficiencies. It is also hard for your body to expel. Zinc is bad, but not as bad as cadmium.

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43 minutes ago, Captain Obvious said:

I would have guessed cad, simply from the time frame involved. But it's simply a guess.

So have you got any examples of the two that you could post as a pic? I thought they looked pretty much the same. Difference as was described to me was cad was a little darker while zinc was a little lighter and brighter.

CO - I thought I had some pics of a buddy's car all recently done in cad but no joy.  The best I can describe is that the color is a yellow-gold, none of the blue or green highlights of zinc and a flat finish, almost a micro crinkle. 

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 Hi Charles.

 My decades of welding was mostly done on galvanized pipe and steel. I've experienced the symptoms of "zinc fume fever" (google it) many times. Along with a sweet taste in your mouth,  it will give you the same symptoms as coming down with the flu. Headache, fever, chills, thirst, nausea, vomiting, chest soreness, fatigue, gastrointestinal pain, weakness and tiredness. (List is courtesy of Lincoln Welding). As you can see, zinc oxide fumes can make you feel pretty crappy. The good news is that the symptoms don't last all that long. By the end of a days exposure one goes home sick. Next morning the worst of the symptoms are gone. The effects seem to be  cumulative.  After a week of daily exposure, one needs the weekend to partially recover. I've not had much exposure to cadmium but you're correct in that cad. has much worse long term effect. Prayers coming your way. Let us know what you discover. Many of us are welding and plating on a regular basis.

 

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Thanks Mark!

I have had bad experiences from welding too. Some which lasted weeks. I am much more diligent about avoiding those exposures if possible. I even were a respirator under my hood when it's bad. I should probably make that SOP but I haven't yet.

I am fortunate my family doctor is a friend of mine and only lives two blocks away, so I just got back from his place. The immediate course of action seems to be going in for some blood work to check my heavy metal levels.He wasn't too worried about some of the symptoms, but that is where I plan to start, provided I can afford the testing.

One of my concerns is I have been bead blasting all this old hardware and venting the cabinet into the shop. Which means I am breathing what ever is coming off the hardware, ie Zinc or Cadmium. So I moved the vacuum outside the shop today. So it is now venting outside. When I get some results back I should have some info on which to assess risk to the stuff I do.

Part of the problem is, I get a double dose, since I work in construction and am exposed to lots of toxins at work too.

 

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I don't think anyone has ever done a chemical analysis of the metallurgy.  "was the hardware..." is too general a question.  The hardware on the S30 is many different electroplated finishes.  Chrome, black zinc, silver zinc, and zinc chromate come to mind.  Or at least that's what I call them.  When people refer to cadmium,  I think they are talking about zinc chromate.  Here's an example.

zinc chromate.jpg

Edited by 26th-Z

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47 minutes ago, 26th-Z said:

I don't think anyone has ever done a chemical analysis of the metallurgy.  "was the hardware..." is too general a question.  The hardware on the S30 is many different electroplated finishes.  Chrome, black zinc, silver zinc, and zinc chromate come to mind.  Or at least that's what I call them.  When people refer to cadmium,  I think they are talking about zinc chromate.  Here's an example.

zinc chromate.jpg

"the hardware" mostly refers to fasteners and it does include some smaller meal pieces. I have done no work on any chromed pieces. I don't know that I know which pieces are supposed to be black zinc. Although I have a fuel filter holder that I believe has been refinished by a vendor in black zinc. I have up to this point done all of my hardware refinishing on the car I am currently working on. All of which has been yellow zinc and blue zinc, which are both chromate finishes. This question has really surfaced for me due to some health issues that I am trying to run down. If there is cadmium on the car it will dramatically change how I process parts

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7 hours ago, Patcon said:

Chris or Alan do either of you have any insight on this?

@26th-Z

@HS30-H

It's been discussed here on classiczcars several times in the past, and the "it's Cadmium" opinion tended to come from one particular source.

In fact, Nissan factory documentation in Japan mentions that on most of their product of the period concerned they and their suppliers were using was ZINC plated, and often finished with a yellow/gold passivation stage.

The Japanese word for Zinc is 亜鉛 ('Aen') and it is mentioned specifically in Nissan's 'Service Shuho' booklets for the S30-series Z cars.


 
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17 minutes ago, HS30-H said:

It's been discussed here on classiczcars several times in the past, and the "it's Cadmium" opinion tended to come from one particular source.

 



 

For example:   

 

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I've seen this discussed several times here and I'll throw in my 2C worth.

I have a plating shop who has done all my plating for clock housings, screws , tubing, and brackets. What I thought was Cad was really yellow Zinc and blue Zinc. Most all of the Yellow Zinc is for my 75 280, but I have a lot of yellow Zinc done for 240 Rally Clock oscillators and mis-hardware. Cad is not as bright as the yellow Zinc.

Depending on the chromate used you will have a red or green hue to the yellow Zinc.  It's hard to tell after all the years, but a plater can tell you the difference by stripping a plated part.

ZC 

Edited by zclocks

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Hey guys here's another Caution. Be very careful around heavy metals . This stuff is accumulative in you blood/system and might not manifest itself as serious, but it is . lead and Cad can cause major health issues as well as DEATH and genetic defects.Heavy metals are hard to clear the body. 

Welding throws off many different gasses as well as soldering, yes soldering! Lead levels can sneak up on  you if your shooting , soldering  or welding. Wear a GOOD approved mask for welding or soldering. Your lungs will thank you down the road. 

Short story:

When I was in an exhaust shop years ago I saw a guy welding a up an exhaust pipe without eye protection(dark lens). When I ask  why he said he couldn't see what he was welding? I thought then I wonder when he'll go blind . Not more than 2 months ago I saw a guy on Utube demonstrating a welder WITHOUT  glasses.

Also, if you do any sand blasting WEAR a Mask. The silicone in sand and many abrasives can cause silicosis. This is caused by exposure to crystalline silica, which comes from chipping, drilling, or grinding soil, and, granite or other materials.

ZC

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