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Hexavalent Chromium
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Toxic Substances :: Hexavalent Chromium

HEXAVALENT CHROMIUM - The compound CrVI, chromium hexavalent, is a dangerous chemical found in any product or material containing chromium metals. It is also known as hexavalent chromium. There are also hazards associated with melting or welding chromium metals. Hexavalent chromium is used in the production of paint, ink, textile dyes, leather tanning, stainless steel production, and plastics carrying chromide pigments. 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.

Exposure to hexavalent chromium can cause severe physical illnesses resulting in lung cancer, liver damage, kidney damage, and asthma. Workers breathing the fumes of the chemical compound or doing 'hot work' with chromium metals may damage the linings of their nose and throat. Contact with chromium hexavalent can also cause skin and eye irritation. More severe and lasting damage can occur to the skin and eyes with prolonged exposure.

Some of the most common occupations at risk for chromium hexavalent poisoning are:

• Welding
• Electroplating
• Auto Body Repair
• Paint Manufacturing

Roughly 8 in every 100 stainless steel workers develop lung cancer as a result of exposure to hexavalent chromium.

There are some things workplaces can and should do to prevent the hazards of exposure to chromium hexavalent such as: continuous evaluation of the levels of CrVI in paints and metals being used or heated, providing skin and eye covering as well as other protective clothing for workers in close proximity to the compound or heated metals, insisting on the use of respirators during active welding, or exposure to fumes from the compounds, and adequate ventilation systems. OSHA (occupational safety & health administration) demands that all industries involved in potentially dangerous chemical or metal use provide as safe an environment as possible and provide the protective gear necessary for safe operation of duties by their employees. If your job fails to provide a safe environment and the equipment needed to perform your work, you should speak to an attorney.

The irresponsible disposal or release of hexavalent chromium can also cause significant environmental damage and is a strong carcinogen in cases of ground water contamination. Its health effects were made infamous in the movie 'Erin Brockovich' detailing the true story of a young woman working in a law firm who rallied to provide legal representation for the people of Hinckley, California who were exposed to chromium in the ground water and had many of the illnesses listed above.

If you have been exposed to chromium hexavalent and are experiencing any of the known symptoms of chemical poisoning, it is important you seek medical and legal advice. Your lawyer will help you prepare a case and get the judgment you need to pay medical bills, be compensated for missed work, and help with your family’s other expenses. Even if you work or live near a facility dealing with this chemical that meets EPA and OSHA standards for protection, it is still possible to suffer from the illnesses related to this chemical. Fill out the form below for a free evaluation by a law firm that has the expertise and resources to handle these complex and costly to litigate cases.

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