The automotive industry has traditionally capitalized on two of cadmium's qualities: The material's ability to plate on other metals, providing a unique array of surface qualities which can only be matched by more costly substitutes. The element's propensity to impart striking, long-lasting colors when employed as a pigment. In recent years, several environmental “scares” have turned some automakers away from cadmium's cost-effective qualities. The Cadmium Council, through research, market development and publicity, is working to reverse the trend. The key messages: Cadmium presents no health or environmental threat when handled properly. The revitalized use of cadmium would help automakers meet their quality objectives more cost effectively.