Chromium

Analytical testing dots

Chromium is a metal found in natural deposits as ores containing other elements. The greatest use of chromium is in metal alloys such as stainless steel; protective coatings on metal; magnetic tapes; and pigments for paints, cement, paper, rubber, composition floor covering and other materials. Its soluble forms are used in wood preservatives.

The maximum contaminant level (MCL) is set at 0.1 ppm because EPA believes, given present technology and resources, this is the lowest level to which water systems can reasonably be required to remove this contaminant should it occur in drinking water.

Chromium in general is not inherently toxic, but its particular valences may be. For example, trace amounts of trivalent chromium Cr(III) is essential for a human body's metabolism. Hexavalent chromium Cr(VI), however, is a toxin and may cause lung cancer and allergic contact dermatitis.