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Chromium, Metal and Insoluble Salts

General Description

  • Synonyms: Chrome; Chromium metal; Other names vary depending on specific compound
  • OSHA IMIS Code Number: 0685
  • Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 7440-47-3 (Chromium metal)
  • NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: GB4200000
  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards - Chromium Metal: Physical description, chemical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Hazard Summary - Chromium: Uses, sources and potential exposure, acute and chronic health hazard information, and more

Exposure Limits and Health Effects

Exposure Limit Limit Values HE Codes Health Factors and Target Organs
OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) - General Industry
See 29 CFR 1910.1000 Table Z-1
1 mg/m3
Chromium metal and insoluble salts (as Cr)
HE10 Pulmonary disease
HE15 Dermatitis
OSHA PEL - Construction Industry
See 29 CFR 1926.55 Appendix A
1 mg/m3
Chromium metal and insoluble salts (as Cr)
HE10 Pulmonary disease
HE15 Dermatitis
OSHA PEL - Shipyard Employment
See 29 CFR 1915.1000 Table Z-Shipyards
1 mg/m3
Chromium metal and insoluble salts (as Cr)
HE10 Pulmonary disease
HE15 Dermatitis
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL) 0.5 mg/m3 TWA HE10 Pulmonary effects
American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV) (1991) [as Cr, metal and Cr III compounds] 0.5 mg/m3 TWA

HE15 Respiratory and skin irritation, dermatitis
CAL/OSHA PEL 0.5 mg/m3
HE15 Respiratory and skin irritation, dermatitis
  • National Toxicology Program (NTP) carcinogenic classification: Not listed
  • International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) carcinogenic classification: Group 3 (not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans)
  • EPA carcinogenic classification: Not listed (chromium metal); Carcinogenic potential cannot be determined (chromium(III), insoluble salts)
  • EPA Inhalation Reference Concentration (RfC): Not established
  • Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) Inhalation Minimal Risk Level (MRL): Not established (chromium metal); 0.005 mg/m3 (intermediate) (chromium(III), insoluble particulates)
  • NIOSH Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (IDLH) concentration: 250 mg Cr/m3 (chromium metal)
  • Notes on Other Potential Health Effects and Hazards
    1. Results of most epidemiological studies dealing with chromium are difficult to interpret due to poorly controlled confounding factors (ATSDR 2008).
  • Date Last Revised: 9/6/2012
  • Literature Basis
    • ACGIH: Documentation of the Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs) - Chromium and Inorganic Compounds. 2004.
    • ATSDR: Toxicological Profile for Chromium. 2012.
    • NIOSH: Recommendations for Occupational Safety and Health - Compendium of Policy Documents and Statements. 1992.

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method (SLC1):
  • Mixed Cellulose Ester Filter (MCEF) 0.8 microns
  • maximum volume: 960 Liters
  • minimum volume: 480 Liters
  • maximum flow rate 2.0 L/min
  • analytical method 1: Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy; AAS
  • method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA ID-121)
  • sampling and analytical error: 0.12
  • method classification: Fully Validated
  • analytical method A: Inductively Coupled Argon Plasma; ICP/DCP-AES
  • method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA ID-125G)
  • sampling and analytical error: 0.13
  • method classification: Fully Validated
  • note: If the filter is not overloaded, samples may be collected up to an 8-hour period. When analysis of a compound is requested, an elemental analysis is performed and reported as total chromium.

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