Despite the risks, manufacturers in factories ringing Yiwu on China’s east coast say their top priority is profit. So offering cut-rate goods often means using lower cost materials, including cadmium, which is known to cause cancer.
Cadmium poisoning is an occupational hazard associated with industrial processes such as metal plating and the production of nickel-cadmium batteries, pigments, plastics, and other synthetics. The primary route of exposure in industrial settings is inhalation. Inhalation of cadmium-containing fumes can result initially in metal fume fever but may progress to chemical pneumonitis, pulmonary edema, and death. Read more here.