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Chromium—and especially Hexavalent Chromium—Can Be Toxic to Human Health

What is Chromium?

Chromium is a chemical element (“Cr,” and atomic number 24). It is found in the form of a hard white metal and used in the making of alloys that resist tarnishing. In larger amounts and in different forms, chromium can be both toxic and carcinogenic—meaning that exposure at certain levels for certain durations of time, chromium exposure could cause cancer.

What Is Hexavalent Chromium?

Hexavalent chromium (CrVI), also known as Hex Chomium or Chromium-6, is one of the valence states of the element chromium. It is the most prominent example of toxic chromium. It is usually produced by an industrial process. Hexavalent chromium is used in the production of paint, ink, textile dyes, leather tanning, stainless steel production, and plastics carrying chromide pigments. . It also may be used as an anticorrosive agent added to paints, primers, and other surface coatings. Chrome and stainless steel coatings are often used to combat rust on metals in paints or other coatings. Chrome plating is used in automotive work to seal metals and add decorative shine as well. Chromic acid is used to electroplate chromium onto metal parts to provide a decorative or protective coating.

You can encounter hexavalent chromium from welding, electroplating, automobile body work, and paint and pigment manufacturing.

Exposure to Hexavalent Chromium Can Cause Severe Illness and Even Cancer

Hexavalent chromium is a dangerous chemical. Exposure to hexavalent chromium can cause severe physical illnesses resulting liver damage, kidney damage, and asthma. Fumes of the chemical compound could damage the linings of the nose or throat. Direct contact with hexavalent chromium can also cause skin and eye irritation or more severe and lasting damage in cases of prolonged exposure. 

Spills, discharges, releases or disposal of hexavalent chromium can cause significant environmental damage. In cases of groundwater contamination—where hexavalent chromium is release and percolates into the groundwater—there is strong evidence that it can contaminant drinking water sources and cause cancer in those who consume it. The film Erin Brokovich made the health effects of hexavalent chromium infamous. In that case, a community of people in California became ill when they were exposed to chromium in the groundwater. Our team of environmental lawyers has worked with the attorneys from the Erin Brokovich film to provide representation to toxic injury victims on the east coast.

The Toxic Injury Lawyers Fight for People and Communities Exposed to Chromium

If you are concerned about chromium pollution in your community or the possibility of chromium releases or disposal affecting your water source, you should contact the Toxic Injury Lawyers. Our team has represented entire communities affected by chromium discharges and disposal against some of the largest corporations. The Toxic Injury Lawyers believe that if you’re made ill by someone else’s actions, you deserve relief. Call and speak to a member of our courteous staff at 855.99.TOXIC, or submit a confidential case inquiry here