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Please be aware that this old REACH registration data factsheet is no longer maintained; it remains frozen as of 19th May 2023.

The new ECHA CHEM database has been released by ECHA, and it now contains all REACH registration data. There are more details on the transition of ECHA's published data to ECHA CHEM here.

Diss Factsheets

Administrative data

health surveillance data
Type of information:
other: Literature reviews
Adequacy of study:
weight of evidence
Study period:
Up to 2006
2 (reliable with restrictions)
Rationale for reliability incl. deficiencies:
other: Critical studies are summarized in three literature reviews

Data source

Referenceopen allclose all

Reference Type:
review article or handbook
Health risk assessment report for metallic chromium and trivalent chromium
Finnish Institute of Occupational Health
Bibliographic source:
Published by the International Chromium Development Association
Reference Type:
review article or handbook
Toxicological profile for chromium
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Bibliographic source:
US Dept of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, ATSDR
Reference Type:
review article or handbook
The toxicity of chromium and inorganic chromium compounds
Health and Safety Executive
Bibliographic source:
HSE Toxicity review 21

Materials and methods

Study type:
other: reviews of various studies in the literature
Endpoint addressed:
basic toxicokinetics
Test guideline
no guideline available
Principles of method if other than guideline:
The three publised reviews collate, summarise and discuss the studies available in the literature.
GLP compliance:
not specified

Test material

Constituent 1
Reference substance name:
not applicable
not applicable
Specific details on test material used for the study:
The reviews cover studies of exposure to various chromium (III) compounds including chromium (III) oxide. It is noted that In occupational studies, it is often difficult to separate exposure of chromium (III) from chromium (VI).


Details on study design:
Various studies are covered by the reviews.

Results and discussion

Any other information on results incl. tables

Ferrochromium production workers are principally exposed to trivalent chromium oxide. In one study, production workers showed a statistically significant increase in urinary concentrations from 0.94 ug/g creatinine to 1.21 ug/g creatinine during the work shift and 1.25 ug/g creatinine at the end of the working week. An increase in urinary chromium concentrations were also seen for sub-contractors while values were stable for clerks during the workday and over the workweek (FIOH review, 2006). Uptake of metallic/trivalent chromium in thermal spraying processes were estimated from workers' urinary chromium in the United Kingdom. Median levels ranged from 0.14 to 5.8 ug/g creatinine in different spraying processes while the corresponding value among controls was 0.2 ug/g creatinine (FIOH review, 2006). According to an industry report, urinary chromium concentrations in workers of one electroplating shop employing trivalent chromium varied from 0.23 to 0.85 ug/g creatinine. No indication was found that exposure to chromium (III) resulted in stomach disorders in workers employed in two factories that produced chromium (III) oxide or chromium (III) sulphate (ATSDR review, 2000). No renal impairment based on urinary albumin, retinol binding protein, and renal tubular antigens was found in 236 workers employed in the ferrochromium production industry where ferrochromite is reduced with coke, bauxite and quartzite. The mean airborne concentration of chromium in various sample locations was 0.075 mg Cr (III)/m3 with chromium (VI) below the detection limit of 0.001 mg Cr (VI)/m3 at all locations (ATSDR review, 2000). It has been suggested that very poorly water-soluble chromium (III) oxide dust played a role in cases of pneumoconiosis reported among ferrochromium alloy production workers and metal dressers in steelworks. However, these workers had mixed dust exposure, precluding any evaluation of the involvement of trivalent chromium. Workers handling hides soaked in chromium (III) sulphate solution during leather tanning had increased levels of chromium in the blood and urine (HSE review, 1989).

Applicant's summary and conclusion

Elevated chromium levels in urine and blood have been seen with occupational exposure to chromium(VI) and/or chromium (III).
Executive summary:

Toxicokinetic data indicate that inhalation exposure to insoluble trivalent chromium (notably chromium oxide) may lead to pulmonary accumulation of this chromium species and consequently, to increased levels of chromium in the serum and urine even after exposure has terminated.