Hexavalent Chromium is a chemical used paints, textile dyes and anti-corrosion coatings. People are exposed to Hexavalent Chromium everyday. Hexavalent Chromium has been classified as a known carcinogen by the federal, state and international health agencies. The EPA based the extensive evidence from occupational studies. Once Chromium enters human cells it causes DNA damage and mutation.
Who Is Exposed To Hexavalent Chromium?
The United States is one of the world’s leading producers of chromium compounds. It is estimated that 558,000 workers are potentially exposed to Hexavalent Chromium in the United States. Workplace exposures occur mainly in the following work areas:
- Welding and other types of “hot work” on stainless steel and other metals that contain chromium
- Application of pigments, spray paints and anti-corrosion coatings
- Operating chrome plating baths
Side Effects of Being Exposed to Hexavalent Chromium
Some of the side effects after exposure include the following:
- Eye irritation and damage
- Perforated eardrums
- Upper abdominal pain
- Nose irritation and damage
- Respiratory cancer
- Skin irriation
- Erosion and discoloration of the teeth
Some workers can also develop an allergic skin reaction called allergic contact dermatitis, which can occur from handling liquids or solids containing Hexavalent Chromium.
Hexavalent Chromium and Cancer
All Hexavalent Chromium compounds are considered carcinogenic to workers. The risk of developing lung, nasal, and sinus cancers increase with the amount of Hexavalent Chromium inhaled and the length of time the worker is exposed. Studies of workers in chromate production, chromate pigment and chrome electroplating industries employed before the 1980’s show increased rates of lung cancer mortality. According to reports, certain Hexavalent Chromium compounds produced lung cancer in animals that had the compounds placed directly in their lungs. If you are in need of a Workers’ Compensation Attorney please click here to learn more.