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EC number: 232-140-5 | CAS number: 7789-00-6
In terms of human experience, direct accidental contact with very acidic or high temperature solutions of highly water-soluble Cr (VI) compounds has resulted in severe burns to human skin. It is not clear from the available reports whether intact skin is damaged by single contact with neutral solutions of such compounds. In one patch test study, some volunteers responded to 0.5% aqueous potassium dichromate with mild irritation especially around hair follicles. In workers regularly exposed to highly water-soluble Cr (VI) in solution, chrome ulcers develop after some initial damage to the skin. This has been described for dye workers handling sodium or potassium dichromate solutions and frequently in exposed workers in the chromate production and chrome plating industries. The severity of the ulcer depends upon the frequency and duration of skin contamination. Small papules develop initially, progressing to an ulcer which penetrates gradually to deeper skin layers. Typically, chrome ulcers have a hard circular periphery and a cavity leading to a base covered with exudate or a crust.
The EU RAR concludes, based on reports of accidental occupational exposure, that the highly water soluble Cr (VI) compounds are skin irritants. Chromium (VI) trioxide is corrosive as a consequence of its low pH and the development of 'chrome ulcers' in workers repeatedly exposed to other salts also indicate the potential for skin corrosivity.
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