Hexavalent chromium compounds are used as chromate pigments in dyes, paints, inks, and plastics. They may be added as anticorrosive agents to paints, primers, and other surface coatings. The compounds are also used during electroplating of metal parts to provide a decorative or protective coating.
Performing "hot work" such as welding on stainless steel or melting chromium metal can result in hexavalent chromium being formed. In these situations, the chromium is not originally hexavalent, but the high temperatures involved in the process result in oxidation that converts the chromium to a hexavalent state.
There are standards developed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regarding worker exposure to hexavalent chromium. Sussex Environmental Health Consultants, a leading Mid-Atlantic health and safety consulting firm, can help companies comply with these standards through monitoring programs.
“Repeated exposure to hexavalent chromium can result in everything from respiratory irritation and allergies to lung cancer,” reported Susan White, Ph.D., CMC, President of SEHC. “Many industrial and construction workers may be exposed to hexavalent chromium on a daily basis. The government has standards in place to protect workers and SEHC can help by monitoring exposure to these potentially harmful compounds. These monitoring programs can also help companies develop personal protective equipment programs to protect their workers and prevent debilitating illnesses caused by repeated exposure.”
SEHC has sponsored an educational video about hexavalent chromium and people’s health that can be seen at:
To learn more about SEHC’s indoor air quality (IAQ), environmental, or health and safety services, please visit http://www.sussexenvironmental.com, email susan.white@
About Sussex Environmental Health Consultants, LLC
SEHC is a certified woman owned business that provides environmental and health and safety consulting services. The company is located in the Mid-Atlantic and services customers nationwide. SEHC provides solutions to clients ranging from homeowners to international Fortune 500 Corporations.