Cadmium, represented by the chemical symbol Cd, was discovered in 1817 by German chemist Friedrich Stromeyer. It is a relatively rare element on Earth, with an average abundance of about 0.1 ppm in the Earth's crust. Cadmium is commonly found in zinc and copper ores and is often extracted as a byproduct during zinc production.

The applications of cadmium are diverse, but its usage is heavily restricted due to its toxicity. Historically, it was employed in electroplating, the manufacturing of nickel-cadmium batteries, and pigments. Modern applications include its use in solar cell production and semiconductor manufacturing.

However, the future of cadmium applications depends on the development of environmentally friendly alternatives, given the concerns about its toxicity. Research efforts are focused on finding substitutes in the photovoltaic industry and reducing the use of cadmium in batteries. The challenge lies in balancing the technological benefits of cadmium with environmental conservation efforts.

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