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C-FERST Issue Profile: Chromium

Chromium is an odorless, tasteless metallic element found naturally in rocks, plants, soil, volcanic dust, and animals. The two most common forms of chromium found in the environment are Trivalent chromium (or chromium-3) and Hexavalent chromium (or chromium-6).

Chromium-3 is an essential human dietary element found in many vegetables, fruits, meats, grains, and yeast. Chromium-6 occurs naturally in the environment from erosion of natural chromium deposits. It can also be produced by industrial processes. There are demonstrated instances of chromium being released into the environment by inadequate industrial storage and waste disposal practices.

EPA classifies chromium-6 as a human carcinogen via inhalation exposure. There is not enough data to classify chromium-3 as a human carcinogen.

Learn more about chromium by exploring the links below.