OSHA Standards for Hexavalent Chromium Cr(VI) Exposure

LOKRING Technology’s patented, weld-equivalent, mechanically-attached fittings can protect you and your staff from the hazards of welding stainless steel and the ramifications of the hexavalent chromium exposures currently being addressed by OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety Association).

According to OSHA, “Workers in many different occupations are exposed to hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)). Occupational exposures occur mainly among workers who handle pigments containing dry chromate, spray paints and coatings containing chromate, operate chrome plating baths, and weld of cur metals containing chromium, such as stainless steel. The following references aid in recognizing hazards and health effects associated with hexavalent chromium.”

Get more information from OSHA on Hexavalent Chromium

Hexavalent chromium can also be formed when performing “hot work” such as welding on stainless steel or melting chromium metal. In these situations the chromium is not originally hexavalent, but the high temperatures involved in the process result in oxidation that converts the chromium to a hexavalent state.

Health Effects

Workers who breathe hexavalent chromium compounds at their jobs for many years may be at increased risk of developing lung cancer. Breathing high levels of hexavalent chromium can irritate or damage the nose, throat, and lungs. Irritation or damage to the eyes and skin can occur if hexavalent chromium contacts these organs in high concentrations or for a prolonged period of time.

Exposures to hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) are addressed in specific standards for the general industry, rules concerning OSHA access to employee medical reports, shipyard employment, marine terminals, and the construction industry. This page highlights OSHA standards, Federal Registers (rules, proposed rules, and notices), directives (instructions for compliance officers), and standard interpretations (official letters of interpretation of the standards) related to (Cr(VI)) (refer to link above).