Source: Enters environment from old mining operations runoff and leaching into groundwater, fossil-fuel combustion, cement-plant emissions, mineral leaching, and waste incineration. Used in metal plating and as a cooling-tower water additive.
Chromium III is a nutritionally essential element. Chromium VI is much more toxic than Chromium III and causes liver and kidney damage, internal hemorrhaging, respiratory damage, dermatitis, and ulcers on the skin at high concentrations.
This inorganic metal occurs naturally in the ground and is often used in the electroplating of metals. It generally gets into water from run-off from old mining operations and improper waste disposal from plating operations. This chemical has been shown to damage the kidneys, nervous system, and the circulatory system of laboratory animals such as rats and mice when the animals are exposed at high levels. Some humans who were exposed to high levels of this chemical suffered liver and kidney damage, dermatitis and respiratory problems. EPA has set the drinking water standard for chromium at 0.1 part per million (ppm) to protect against the risk of these adverse health effects. Drinking water that meets the EPA standard is associated with little to none of this risk and is considered safe with respect to chromium.