Wednesday, June 8, 2011


For employees who use chrome plating baths, weld or cut chromium-containing metals, such as stainless steel; handle dry chromate-containing pigments or spray chromate-containing paints and coatings, this pertains.

• Hexavalent chromium enters the body in two ways: (1) inhaled when chromium dust, mist, or fumes are in the air, 2) particles can be swallowed if the dust gets on hands, clothing, or beard, or in food/beverages.

• Hexavalent chromium can irritate the respiratory tract in the nose, throat, & lungs. Repeated or prolonged exposure can damage the mucous membranes of the nasal passages causing ulcers. In some cases, septum damage (the wall separating nasal passages) develops a hole.

• Prolonged skin contact can result in dermatitis and skin ulcers. Some workers develop an allergic sensitization to chromium. Kidney damage has been linked to high dermal exposures.

• Hexavalent chromium is an eye irritant. Direct eye contact with chromic acid or chromate dusts can cause permanent eye damage.

• Wear respiratory protection.
• Wear protective clothing & eye-face protection if there is the potential that hexavalent chromium can come in contact with eyes or skin.
• Always use change rooms & washing facilities provided before eating, drinking, smoking, or using toilet.
• Remove contaminated clothing B4 entering designated eating & drinking areas.
• Use HEPA filter vacuuming to keep surfaces as free as possible of material containing hexavalent chromium.
• Collect/dispose of all waste in sealed, impermeable containers.
• Flush eye area immediately for at least 15 min. & get medical attention.
• For skin exposure, wash thoroughly with soap and water. Get medical attention if irritation persists.
• For inhalation, move the person to fresh air & get medical attention.

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