April 2009

A little-known hazard | Safe Solutions

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A little-known hazard

Be mindful of the risks associated with hexavalent chromium

by Harry Dietz
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Hexavalent chromium compounds are widely used in metal finishing, wood preservation, leather tanning, corrosion resistance and pigment production, among other uses. In the roofing industry, hexavalent chromium's presence is relatively rare and results most often from welding stainless-steel materials, which can yield inhalable hexavalent chromium.

Various epidemiological studies have reported increased risk of lung cancer among workers exposed to hexavalent chromium. As a result, you should be aware of these hazards and take steps to minimize exposure risks for your employees.

The risks

The general population can be exposed to hexavalent chromium through ambient air inhalation, water ingestion or skin contact with products containing the compound, such as some types of...

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More information about OSHA's standard related to hexavalent chromium

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