Chromic acid and chromates

May 1994
Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health Concentrations (IDLH)

CAS number: 1333–82–0 (CrO3)

NIOSH REL: 0.001 mg Cr(VI)/m3 TWA; NIOSH considers chromic acid and chromates to be potential occupational carcinogens as defined by the OSHA carcinogen policy [29 CFR 1990].

Current OSHA PEL: 0.1 mg CrO3/m3 CEILING

1989 OSHA PEL: Same as current PEL

1993-1994 ACGIH TLV: Water soluble: 0.05 mg CrO3/m3 TWA;

Certain water insoluble: 0.05 mg CrO3/m3 TWA, A1

Description of Substance: Varies

Original (SCP) IDLH: 30 mg/m3 (as CrO3)

Basis for original (SCP) IDLH: Very little quantitative data are available concerning the acute toxicity produced by the inhalation of chromic acid and chromates. AIHA [1956] reported that both the short exposure tolerance to chromic acid and the atmospheric concentration immediately dangerous to life are unknown. The chosen IDLH is based on the statements by ILO [1971] that “a man exposed for several days to concentrations of chromic acid mist of about 20 to 30 mg/m3 experienced cough, headache, dyspnea, and substernal pain; the signs persisted for 2 weeks. Another man working on the same process was similarly but less severely affected.” No other useful data are available on which to base the IDLH.

Short-term exposure guidelines: None developed

ACUTE TOXICITY DATA

Lethal dose data:

Species Reference Route LD50(mg/kg) LDLo(mg/kg) Adjusted LD Derived value
H2CrO4·2Na
Rat
Gad et al. 1986 oral 51.9 —– 113 mg Cr(VI)/m3 11 mg Cr(VI)/m3
CrO3
Mouse
Rat
Chi J Prev Med 1980
Kobayashi et al. 1976
oral
oral
127
80
—–
—–
462 mg Cr(VI)/m3
291 mg Cr(VI)/m3
46 mg Cr(VI)/m3
29 mg Cr(VI)/m3

 

Human data: A worker exposed for several days to concentrations of chromic acid mist of about 20 to 30 mg/m3 (equivalent to about 10 to 15 mg Cr(VI)/m3) experienced cough, headache, dyspnea, and substernal pain; the signs persisted for 2 weeks [ILO 1971]. Another man working on the same process was similarly but less severely affected [ILO 1971]. The fatal oral dose of chromium has been reported to be 1 to 3 grams [Seiler et al. 1988]. [Note: An oral dose of 1 to 3 grams is equivalent to a 70-kg worker being exposed to 667 to 2,000 mg Cr(VI)/m3 for 30 minutes, assuming a breathing rate of 50 liters per minute and 100% absorption.]

 

REFERENCES:

1. AIHA [1956]. Chromic acid. In: Hygienic guide series. Am Ind Hyg Assoc Q 17:233-234.

2. Chi J Prev Med [1980]; 14:86-88 (in Chinese).

3. Gad SC, et al. [1986]. Acute toxicity of four chromate salts, Proceedings of the Chromium Symposium, pp. 43-58. In: DHHS/ATSDR Toxicological Profile for Chromium (Draft), p. 51.

4. ILO [1971]. Chromium, alloys, compounds. In: Encyclopaedia of occupational health and safety. 2nd ed. Vol. I (A-K). Geneva, Switzerland: International Labour Office, pp. 295-297.

5. Kobayashi H, Kamiya N, Hiraga K [1976]. Toxicological studies on chromium: acute toxicities of chromium trioxide. Annual Report of Tokyo Metropolitan Research Laboratory of Public Health 27:119-123 (in Japanese).

6. Seiler HG, Sigel H, Sigel A, eds. [1988]. Handbook on the toxicity of inorganic compounds. New York, NY: Marcel Dekker, Inc., p. 247.

Page last reviewed: December 4, 2014