Chromium


Pure metallic chromium, chromite and trivalent compounds do not produce any serious damage to body tissue. The toxic action of chromium is confined to the hexavalent compounds, which exert an irritative, corrosive and possibly toxic action on the human body. Under certain conditions these compounds cause denaturation and precipitation of tissue proteins. Intimate contact, as in industrial exposure, affect primarily the skin and the respiratory tract such as ulcers and dermatitis. There is increasing evidence that the incidence of cancer of the respiratory tract is abnormally high among workers exposed to hexavalent chromium dusts during chromium refining.