DHHS/NIOSH: Occupational Exposure to Hexavalent Chromium
This criteria document is derived from the NIOSH evaluation of critical health effects studies of occupational exposure to hexavalent chromium (Cr[VI]) compounds. It provides recommendations for controlling workplace exposures including a revised recommended exposure limit (REL) derived using current quantitative risk assessment methodology on human health effects data. This document supersedes the 1975 Criteria for a Recommended Standard: Occupational Exposure to Chromium(VI) and NIOSH Testimony to OSHA on the Proposed Rule on Occupational Exposure to Hexavalent Chromium [NIOSH 1975a, 2005a]. Cr(VI) compounds include a large group of chemicals with varying chemical properties, uses, and workplace exposures. Their properties include corrosion-resistance, durability, and hardness. So - dium dichromate is the most common chromium chemical from which other Cr(VI) compounds may be produced. Materials containing Cr(VI) include various paint and primer pigments, graphic art supplies, fungicides, corrosion inhibitors, and wood preservatives. Some of the industries in which the largest numbers of workers are exposed to high concentrations of Cr(VI) compounds include electroplating, welding, and painting. An estimated 558,000 U.S. workers are exposed to airborne Cr(VI) compounds in the workplace.