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Aquatic Life Criteria - Cadmium Documents

EPA national recommended ambient water quality criteria for cadmium reflects the latest scientific information, and current EPA policies and methods. EPA’s water quality criteria for cadmium will provide recommendations to states and tribes authorized to establish water quality standards under the Clean Water Act. In adopting water quality standards, states set exposure protections for aquatic life. In addition to acute effects such as mortality, chronic exposure to cadmium can lead to adverse effects on growth, reproduction, immune and endocrine systems, development, and behavior in aquatic organisms. Cadmium enters the environment by natural and human processes, however, human sources, such as mining and urban processes, are responsible for contributing approximately 90 percent of the cadmium found in surface waters.

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