Cadmium is a chemical element with symbol Cd and atomic number 48. This soft, bluish-white metal is chemically similar to the two other stable metals in group 12, zinc and mercury. Like zinc, it prefers oxidation state +2 in most of its compounds and like mercury it shows a low melting point compared to transition metals.
It was used for a long time as a pigment and for corrosion-resistant plating on steel, whereas cadmium compounds were used to stabilize plastic. The use of cadmium is generally decreasing due to its toxicity and the replacement of nickel-cadmium batteries with nickel-metal hydride and lithium-ion batteries. One of its few new uses is in cadmium telluride solar panels.