Manufacturers based at Washington have been blamed for not revealing vital data regarding the carcinogenic effects of chromium exposure to the Government. The health risks to workers were largely under-reported. A paper submitted by George Washington University and Public Citizen highlighted the incomplete data published with respect to hexavalent chromium and lung cancer. The results of the study can be found in the Environmental Health journal.
The carcinogenic chemical was even featured in the movie, ‘Erin Brockovich’. The metal is most commonly used in chrome plating, welding of stainless steel, manufacture of alloys and other purposes. More than 380, 000 workers are exposed to chromium everyday as a part of their occupation.
In view of the side effects associated with occupational chromium exposure, it is high time the Government takes a closer look at the issue. A new standard on acceptable levels of workplace chromium levels is expected to be established soon by the Government.