K.-R. Bräutigam, M. Achternbosch, N. Hartlieb, C. Kupsch, G. Sardemann
In this study for a selected toxic material, i.e. the heavy metal cadmium, the following topics were examined: which quantities of cadmium are in the economic cycle in Germany, for which products cadmium is intentionally used because of its special characteristics and what happens with these products at the end of their lifetime. The analyses were accomplished for the years 1995 to 2000; as far as it is of importance, developments after the year 2000 are regarded additionally. It is shown, which problems are associated with the use of cadmium and how due to legal regulations and voluntary agreements on national and European level the use of cadmium has changed in the examined period. It was not only a goal to set up a balance of cadmium flows for Germany but also to highlight problems associated with the handling of toxic materials and related products, in that case cadmium, against the background of the sustainability discussion.
The project was carried out self-financed by the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS) of the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe in the Helmholtzgemeinschaft. When investigating the working group could draw on experiences gathered during many years in the topic fields “material flow analyses and waste management” as well as "sustainability".