Nanoco Group PLC

American Consumers Unaware of Dangers of Cadmium in Their Living Rooms

Published on 25/1/2017

MANCHESTER, England & CONCORD, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A new survey of adult consumers in the United States, Britain and Germany revealed a lack of awareness about cadmium, a highly toxic heavy metal used in some home electronics including televisions and computer monitors. Consumers surveyed seem to be unaware that governments are sanctioning the use of cadmium when suitable alternatives already exist and dominate the television and monitor market. Three-quarters of consumers surveyed in each country rejected cadmium-based products and say they would be willing to purchase safer electronics based on the fact that they did not contain cadmium.

The independent online survey was conducted between November 30 and December 2, 2016, among 1,003 U.S. adults, aged 18 and older; 1,005 U.K. adults, 18 and older; and 1,029 German adults, 18 and older.1

Key survey findings and takeaways:

Overall awareness of cadmium and its use in home electronics is low:

  • General awareness of cadmium is low among consumers in these three countries and few are familiar with its use in electronic devices.
    • Depending on the country, between 60% and 80% of consumers were not aware of cadmium as a toxic element and material.
    • Up to 78% of consumers were not aware of cadmium’s current or proposed use in consumer electronics.
    • Adults with higher incomes and education, along with younger consumers (aged 18-24) were more likely to be aware of cadmium and its proposed use in consumer electronics products.

Takeaway: Much like lead and mercury campaigns, the government needs to have an explanation as to why consumers are not better educated and aware (e.g. product hazard labelling) of cadmium.

Consumers are willing to select televisions and monitors based on the absence of cadmium in order to have safer products in their homes:

  • When educated about Cadmium, concerns about the dangers take precedence over other quality factors (price, energy efficiency, etc). The vast majority — up to 76% of consumers — say they would be willing to purchase a device that did not contain Cadmium. The feeling was so strong on this point that some consumers expressed an opinion that avoiding purchasing products containing cadmium would be their ONLY motivation in purchasing a television or monitor.

Germans are particularly focused on product safety issues:

  • German consumers, in particular, put safety first, with 60% of Germans giving a resounding no to Cadmium-based products – even if a manufacturer claims the products are safe.
    • If choosing between two devices, one containing Cadmium and the other without, three in five Germans would choose the non-Cadmium product as they would not put themselves or their families at risk.

Takeaway: Government has a duty to inform consumers about the risks of cadmium since they are not being given full information by manufacturers.

Proper waste recycling protocols are still unclear in many countries, multiplying Cadmium’s dangers:

  • The survey identified that general electronic waste recycling is well developed and understood in GermanyThis is not the same for all countries surveyed and even for Germany, it is not clear if cadmium specifically is controlled.

Takeaway: The e-waste effects of products containing cadmium pose serious potential health hazards.


Nanoco (LSE: NANO) harnesses the power of nano-technology to create a brighter, more sustainable future. Based on breakthrough science, Nanoco’s proprietary manufacturing process enables the large-scale production of its cadmium-free CFQD® quantum dots for multiple applications:

  • LCD display, where Nanoco’s CFQD® quantum dots give consumers peace of mind to enjoy the next-generation color performance and energy efficiency without allowing toxic chemicals into their homes.
  • Lighting, where Nanoco’s CFQD® quantum dots are used in horticulture to safely speed plant growth.
  • Healthcare, where Nanoco’s CFQD® quantum dots are opening new, potentially life-saving uses in bio-imaging.
  • Solar, where Nanoco’s CFQD® quantum dots are incorporated into printable solar inks for future thin, highly efficient and low-cost solar cells.

Nanoco has non-exclusive manufacturing and marketing licensing agreements in display with The Dow Chemical Company, Merck KGaA of Germany, and Wah Hong Industrial Corporation of Taiwan. Through these partners and its own production facilities in Runcorn, UK, Nanoco is creating the world’s largest manufacturing ecosystem for cadmium-free quantum dots.

Nanoco was founded in 2001 and is headquartered in Manchester, UK, with a US subsidiary, Nanoco Inc., in Concord, MA. Nanoco continues to build out a world-class, patent-protected IP portfolio generated both by its own innovation engine, as well as through acquisition.

Nanoco is listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange and trades under the ticker symbol NANO. For further information please visit:

1 Survey conducted by Regina Corso Consulting. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate, no estimates of sampling error can be calculated.

Tier One Partners
Colleen Irish, 617-842-1511