Hexavalent Chromium Hexavalent chromium is one of several oxidation states of the element chromium and is commonly used in chrome plating operations to deposit a corrosion-resistant coating on metal parts. Hexavalent chromium is also produced when chrome metal or alloys containing chrome metal are heated to high temperatures, such as during the welding of stainless steel. Hexavalent Chromium Hazard Overview Solutions Regulations Learn More What are the hazards associated with hexavalent chromium? Cr(VI) is known to cause cancer. In addition, it targets the respiratory system, kidneys, liver, skin and eyes. Is there a special emphasis program associated with this topic? Occupational exposure to hexavalent chromium falls within the OSH Division health hazards special emphasis program. What can I do to protect myself? Employees working around chrome plating operations should ensure they are wearing the necessary personal protective equipment when working around these processes. Employees who are welding stainless steel and other high chromium content alloys should be sure to position the workpieces between themselves and the exhaust ventilation. Your employer is required to provide respiratory protection in accordance with the respiratory protection standard, 29 CFR 1910.134, when ventilation is not sufficient to maintain your exposure below the permissible exposure limit. What resources are available to assist employers? Training and Outreach Services Related presentations on welding and cutting for workplaces in general industry and construction, toxic and hazardous substances, respiratory protection, and hazard communication are available to assist employers to train their staff. The presentations should be modified to address site-specific conditions and hazards. In addition, the education, training and technical assistance bureau provides free online safety and health training and outreach services (i.e., speaker's bureau requests, safety booths) upon request. Further, the following pre-recorded webinars can also be used to assist with employee training: hazard communication, health hazards: special emphasis programs, and respiratory protection. Lastly, the NCDOL Library offers free safety and health videos (including streaming video services) and related research assistance on consensus standards (i.e., ANSI, NFPA, NEC). Safety and Health Programs Example programs for hazard communication, hazardous chemicals and respiratory protection can be used to assist employers in the development of their overall comprehensive safety and health program. A PPE hazard assessment should be used to ensure that all PPE has been identified to protect the employee from exposure. A-Z Safety and Health Topics Additional resources can be found on the A-Z topics pages for respiratory protection, hazard communication, eyewash stations and emergency showers and personal protective equipment. Consultation Services Lastly, the consultative services bureau provides free and confidential onsite consultation regarding worksite safety and health hazards. Which standards apply? OSH has adopted the following standards which are applicable to hexavalent chromium in North Carolina. Note: Please also check the standards information and activity webpage to see if there has been any recent or upcoming regulatory activity on this topic. General Industry 29 CFR 1910 Subpart I - personal protective equipment 29 CFR 1910.134 - respiratory protection 29 CFR 1910.141 - sanitation 29 CFR 1910.1020 - access to employee exposure and medical records 29 CFR 1910.1026 - hexavalent chromium 29 CFR 1910.1200 - hazard communication Construction 29 CFR 1926.51 - sanitation 29 CFR 1926.55 - gases, vapors, fumes, dusts, and mists 29 CFR 1926.353 - ventilation and protection in welding, cutting, and heating 29 CFR 1926.1126 - hexavalent chromium Maritime, Shipyard Employment 29 CFR 1915.1026 - hexavalent chromium Other Applicable Standards The Which OSHA Standards Apply webpage can also help identify other standards that may be applicable to your worksite. Where can I learn more? Industry Guides Industry Guide 48 - OSHA Construction Industry Standards Requiring Programs, Inspections, Procedures, Records and/or Training provides requirements for standards related to occupational exposure to hexavalent chromium in construction. Industry Guide 49 - OSHA General Industry Standards Requiring Programs, Inspections, Procedures, Records and/or Training provides requirements for standards related to occupational exposure to hexavalent chromium in general industry. Industry Guide 53 - OSHA Shipyard Employment Standards Requiring Programs, Inspections, Procedures, Records and/or Training highlights the requirements related to occupational exposure to hexavalent chromium in shipyard employment. Compliance Documents Compliance Directive: CPL 02-02-074, Inspection Procedures for the Chromium (VI) Standards, establishes enforcement procedures and provides an explanation of the hexavalent chromium standards to ensure uniform enforcement. Technical Assistance If you would like to receive interpretive guidance on this or any other OSH standard or topic, you can submit your questions using the Ask OSH web form, by e-mail to email@example.com or by calling 919-707-7876.