- Sanding of coated surfaces
- Abbrasive blasting, sandblasting, iceblasting, glass bead blasting, bristle blasting
- Spraying of paint containing chromium-6
- Cutting and sawing of coated and/or stainless steel
- Grinding from coated areas or stainless steel
- Welding of coated surfaces or stainless steel
- Chromium plating of metal or plastic surfaces, where chromium-6 compounds are added and these are converted to chromium-0 on the metal or plastic
- In wood preservation and handling and contact with preserved wood
- Working with cement
- Work in/near tanneries and leather processing
What are the consequences of exposure?
In most cases, the process creates dust or mist, which contains chromium-6 salts. Only in a tannery or when working with cement the exposure to chromium-6 goes mainly through the skin.
In contrast, blasting, sanding, cutting or spraying or paint containing chromium-6 is mainly inhalation exposure. At least, if no or insufficient respiratory protection is used. How much chromium-6 ends up in the body differs per route of exposure and per type of chromium-6 salt. For inhalation exposure, the size of the dust or mist particles released into the air also determines how much and how deeply the particles can be inhaled.
Most chromium-6 changes in water to the harmless chromium-3. But when this happens in body cells, damage can occur. The vitamin C in the cell forms chromium salts together with chromium-6. The resulting chromium-3 sticks to nucleic acids and proteins, leading to breaks in the DNA and mutations. If these mutations are not recognised and/or neutralised by the body, they can lead to diseases.