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Monday, February 28, 2011
Acute and chronic systemic chromium toxicity (1 of 8 on Chromium toxicity)
Although chromium and compounds containing it have been recognized as having potential severe adverse effects on health for more than 160 years, understanding of the systemic toxicology and true hazard of these compounds is still not complete. A review of the current state of knowledge is attempted in this paper, with appropriate attention given to the complications of multiple valence states and solubility. Selected chromium compounds, particularly hexavalent ones, are carcinogens, corrosives, delayed contact sensitizers, and have the kidney as their primary target organ. But chromium is also an essential element for humans. The body clearly possesses some effective detoxification mechanisms for some degree of exposure to hexavalent chrome compounds. The significant features of acute and chronic chromium toxicity are presented in view of these considerations.