I think we are just in a down cycle right now regarding emulsion making. It's just the wrong time of the year for me. There is definitely some of the "bah, humbug" for the "required" perfection level but I really could not care. Anything I've made and tried to reproduce, I can reproduce at the level of my grandmother's chocolate chip cookies - I knew pretty much what they would be but no they weren't precisely the same every batch. Big deal. It's all good.
Another thing is that I think many makers get discouraged that they cannot get past ISO 40 or 50 and give up. Or they do get past that speed and maybe go off into some secret laboratory. Who knows? One of us will find the secret to ISO 100, 200 and maybe even 400 for the home based worker. Then again, what's wrong with ISO 50 anyway? Many here would kill for Kodachrome 64.
Now as far as cadmium, its up to you of course, but cadmium was used for a long time before it was deemed evil. We used cadmium plated hardware at work until just a few years ago when it was banned. (Don't know exactly how much cadmium was used in that stuff, though.) I don't doubt that it's toxic but we would probably use very little at any time and you aren't supposed to eat the stuff! Use the necessary precautions and I am sure it is fine. Many other substances are the same.
The company I work at does a good bit of business in the EU. The restrictions placed on EU things are disappointing. I don't pretend to understand what they are doing but it seems over restrictive to me and stifling to industry and innovation.