• Chromium metal CAS No. 7440-47-3
  • Chromium acid CAS No. 1333-82-0

Chromium metal (Cr) is a bluish to steel-gray brittle solid, often seen in gray powder form that burns if flame heated. Chromium is also found in chromic acid (CrO3), chromium compounds, and chromates. It is harmful to the skin, eyes, blood, and respiratory system. Workers may be harmed from exposure to chromium and its compounds. The level of exposure depends upon the dose, duration, and work being done.

Chromium is used in many industries. It’s used in stainless steel and chrome plating, steel manufacture, paint pigments, leather tanning, and some heat-resistant applications. Some examples of workers at risk of being exposed to chromium include the following:

  • Service workers who maintain copy machines and are exposed to toner inks
  • Workers involved in the manufacture of steel
  • Cement workers and those who work in cement-producing manufacturers
  • Workers exposed to chromium-based pigmented paints or tanning dyes

NIOSH recommends that employers use Hierarchy of Controls to prevent injuries. If you work in an industry that uses chromium-based compounds, please read chemical labels and the accompanying Safety Data Sheet for hazard information. Visit NIOSH’s page on Managing Chemical Safety in the Workplace to learn more about controlling chemical workplace exposures.

The following resources provide information about occupational exposure to chromium. Useful search terms for chromium include “chrome,” “elemental chromium,” and “chromium metal.”

NIOSH Chemical Resources

Related NIOSH Resources

Selected Publications

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International Resources

Page last reviewed: June 24, 2019