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Hexavalent chromium

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Overview

Hexavalent chromium (also known as chromium V1) comes from the chemical element chromium and made Erin Brockovich famous after she discovered it in the drinking water in Hinkley, Calif.

Hexavalent chromium exposure occurs from breathing it, ingesting it in food or water, or from direct contact with the skin. Health effects include nasal and sinus cancers, kidney and liver damage, skin ulceration, and eye damage.

Exposures occur mainly among workers who handle chromate-containing pigments, spray paints, or coatings; operate chrome plating baths; or weld or cut metals that contain chromium.

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