Cr (VI) and Cr(III) in Leather Products of the Danish Market
The Danish Environmental Agency initiated in April 2001 an investigation to evaluate the possible content of hexavalent and trivalent chromium in leather products on the Danish Market. Forty-three leather products were purchased in Denmark and the leather was analysed for its content of hexavalent chromium and total chromium. The products represented ten different product groups (watch-straps, shoes, gloves, baby-shoes, working gloves, leather jackets, trousers, leather-tops, skirts and leather-hats).
Fifteen out of the forty-three of the-leather products contained hexavalent chromium in levels above the detection limit of 3 mg/kg. Hence, thirty-five (35%) of the products contained hexavalent chromium. In the 15 products where hexavalent chromium was detected, the concentration range was from 3,6 to 14,7 mg/kg (analysed according to DIN 53315).
Additionally ten baby-shoes were analysed for its content of hexavalent chromium. The content of hexavalent chromium was below the detection limit in all samples. Two of the baby-shoes were also analysed for migration of chromium according to the European Standards on safety of Toys, EN 71 Part 3. Both the upper leather and the sole leather were analysed separately. All four samples showed a migration higher than the stated safety requirement of the EN 71. The migration of chromium found in the samples was between 370-980 mg/kg Cr.
The number of leather products containing hexavalent chromium was not expected, especially taking into consideration that it relatively easy and well known to produce leather, which do not contain any hexavalent chromium.