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What is Hexavalent Chromium

Hexavalent chromium, noted as Cr(VI) or Cr+6, is a toxic form of the element chromium. Hexavalent chromium compounds are used for their corrosion-resistance, durability, and hardness properties.

Rarely found in nature, this form is generally man-made. Hexavalent chromium may be present in pigments, electroplating, wood preservatives/fungicides, and chemical synthesis. Additionally, hexavalent chromium is present in fumes generated during the production and welding of chrome alloys.

OSHA mandated a Hexavalent Chromium Standard for exposures in general industry, shipyards and construction.

The following limits were established for hexavalent chromium exposure:

  • Action Level (AL) of 2.5 µg/m3 calculated as an 8-hour time-weighted average
  • Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) of 5 µg/m3 calculated as an 8-hour time-weighted average

For more information regarding the OSHA standard for Hexavalent Chromium, please visit:

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Paul Heffernan, CEO of Clark Testing