Made famous in the movie Erin Brockovich, hexavalent chromium is toxic if inhaled or ingested. Chronic exposure has proven to lead to a number of different cancers and autoimmune disorders. Companies across the United States have lost billions of dollars in lawsuits for contaminating the environment with chromium.
Chromium - Bio Compatibility
Chromium is a very toxic metal, and chromium vapor is as deadly as mercury. This is the material from batteries that is now forbidden! Chromium grinders are a little heavy, like iron, and you can see them everywhere. Don't get fooled by their shiny looks—chromium grinders are cheap to make! You can recognize them by their weight; they feel like a brick.
What Are the Effects of Chromium Over-Exposure?
- When inhaled, chromium compounds are respiratory tract irritants and can cause pulmonary sensitization.
- Chronic inhalation of Cr(VI) compounds increases the risk of lung, nasal, and sinus cancer.
- Severe dermatitis and usually painless skin ulcers can result from contact with Cr(VI) compounds.
- Chromium compounds can be sensitizers as well as irritants.
- DHHS, EPA, WHO, and IARC have all recognized Cr(VI) as a human carcinogen.
- Occupational exposure to Cr(VI) compounds in a number of industries has been associated with increased risk of respiratory system cancers.
- Latency for Cr(VI)-induced lung cancer can be greater than 20 years.
- Some studies indicated that reversible renal tubular damage can occur after low-dose, chronic Cr(VI) exposure.
- Occupational exposure to Cr(III) does not appear to be associated with renal effects.
- Cr(VI) compounds can cause mild to severe liver abnormalities.
- Some Cr(VI) compounds, such as potassium dichromate and chromium trioxide, are caustic and irritating to gastrointestinal mucosal tissue.
- Ingestion of a lethal dose of chromate can result in cardiovascular collapse.
- Oral exposure to Cr(VI) compounds may result in hematological toxicity.
- Potential reproductive effects of chromium in humans have not been adequately investigated.
- Data indicate that Cr(VI) compounds are teratogenic in animals.
- Cr(VI) compounds induced DNA damage, gene mutation, sister chromatid exchange, and chromosomal aberrations in a number of targets, including animal cells in vivo and animal and human cells in vitro.