Sunday, January 30, 2011

Chrome is a Pollutant

Chromium in certain compound molecule have carcinogen properties. In a chrome electroplating industry, that usually use chromic acid, people can't prevent the reaction just produce chrome molecule, on the reaction will result many kind of chromium compound that some of them have carcinogenic properties to human. Long term exposure of workers to airborne levels of chromium higher than those in the natural environment has been associated with lung cancer. Chromium compound contain of hexavalent chromium or chromium (IV) - is believed have major problem when inhaled. Inhalation exposure to chromium vapor may causes of adverse effects on the respiratory system even affected to immune system.

In natural system, chromium elements available in soil and come from volcanic dust and gases. The major state of natural chromium are chromium (0), chromium (III), and chromium (IV). Chromium (III) occur naturally in the nature but chromium (IV) and Chromium (0) are resulted from further process of industry. In chromium plating industry, chromium solution is turned to chromium (0), that have natural grey color. In the form of mineral like chromite, it is used in refractory industry to make a bricks for metallurgical furnaces.

The effect of each chromium form different in health effect, hexavalent chromium or chromium (IV), cause irritating in a short term, high level exposure can result in adverse affects such as ulcers of the skin, irritation of the nasal mucosa and irritation of the gastrointestinal tract. Further affect of this chromium can cause abnormal function of kidney and liver.

The second form of chromium is trivalent chromium, chromium (III), does not result in those effect if just touch, but in very large doses if contaminated in food may be harmful. Chromium in food mostly trivalent. Chromium (0) is in metal form of chromium, exposure to chromium (0) is less common and is not well characterized in term of levels of exposure or potential on health effects.