Hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) compounds are a group of chemical substances that contain the metallic element chromium in its positive-6 valence (hexavalent) state. It’s a toxic form of the element chromium. Hexavalent chromium compounds are man-made and widely used in many different industries.
Occupational exposures to Cr(VI) occur during the production of stainless steel, chromate chemicals and chromate pigments. Cr(VI) exposures also occur during other work activities such as stainless steel welding, thermal cutting, chrome plating, painting and coating processes. Stripping and painting of aluminum surfaces, such as aircraft fuselages and aluminum castings are of particular concern due to widespread use of zinc chromate primers, which have ‘etching’ properties that enable better paint adhesion. These primers are also finding increasing application on galvanized steel products, including automobiles. EMSL Analytical, Inc., a leading nationwide testing laboratory, uses state-of-the-art testing that generates rapid, cost-effective and accurate results.