Hexavalent Chromium (CrVI)

Chromium hexavalent (CrVI) compounds, is found in several forms. Industrial uses of hexavalent chromium compounds include chromate pigments in dyes, paints, inks, and plastics; chromates added as anticorrosive agents to paints, primers, and other surface coatings; Hexavalent chromium can also be formed when performing “hot work” such as welding on stainless steel or melting chromium metal. 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.

Occupational exposures occur mainly among workers who handle pigments containing dry chromate, spray paints and coatings containing chromate, operate chrome plating baths, and weld or cut metals containing chromium, such as stainless steel.

Workers who breathe hexavalent chromium compounds at their jobs for many years may be at increased risk of developing lung cancer. Breathing high levels of hexavalent chromium can irritate or damage the nose, throat, and lungs. Irritation or damage to the eyes and skin can occur if hexavalent chromium contacts these organs in high concentrations or for a prolonged period of time.


OSHA regulates employers to demonstrate data containing Chromium in
concentration at or above 0.5 µg/m3 – 1926.1126(a)(4) OSHA- Permissible
exposure limits (PEL) as per 1926.1126(c) for Hexavalent Chromium in excess
of (5 µg/m3) of air, calculated as an 8 Hour TWA.

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  • Hexavalent Chromium Analysis: OSHA ID 215