How Filtering Hexavalent Chrome Can Prevent Chronic Bronchitis, Asthma, and Prevents Lung Cancer
Chromium is a vital ingredient in stainless steels and other alloys that have excellent corrosion and heat resistance properties. Unfortunately working with these alloys often results in the release of hexavalent chromium fume. Studies have shown that hexavalent chromium is a powerful cancer causing material. It causes bronchitis and asthma too. Fume and dust that contain hex chromium must be very well controlled to protect all people working near places where it is generated.
Metal spraying, thermal spraying, welding, gouging and grinding chromium alloys may release dangerous quantities of hex chrome. The danger goes up with the proportion of chrome in the material, and when work is done in a confined space. Review Material Safety Data Sheets to understand the relative hazard. The best way to protect those in the confined space or close to the activity is to exhaust fume directly from the source. An air flow of 500 to 1000 cfm from a hood close to the source can greatly reduce the hex chrome concentration of the space.
OSHA and other regulations require that welding fume that may contain hex chrome be effectively exhausted from the welding, gouging or grinding site. Releasing it into the plant atmosphere could put those in the vicinity of the discharge point at risk. The safe way to dispose of fume and dusts that contain hex chrome is to collect them in an efficient industrial dust collector and send them for recycling or safe disposal.
Smogbuster provides dust collectors that will remove more than 99% of fume and dust from air before it is discharged. That makes the discharged air far less dangerous for those in the vicinity. The discharged air may contain carbon monoxide and other harmful gases, so it is discharged where those can be safely diluted.
Our experts can work with you to plan ventilation systems that will protect everyone in your plant from hex chrome. In many circumstances basic respiratory protection may be needed to ensure worker safety, but this is much easier to work with than the air supplied respirators that or required with ordinary ventilation systems.
Our experts in Edmonton can work with you to analyze your workplace and operations in order to find the best solution to keep your employees safe. Don't risk the health of your most valuable asset, your employees. Speak with us today to find the best way to keep hexavalent chrome from being a problem at your workplace.
Chromium is present in many workplace materials, used for its unique chemical properties that make both heat and corrosion resistant. Common examples of chromium-containing materials are stainless steel, metal sprays, and coatings. These materials are not usually harmful, but certain workplace operations can cause chromium to be released into the air as in its hexavalent form, which is an extremely dangerous chemical.
Effects of hexavalent chrome
Airborne hexavalent chromium can become inhaled and have a detrimental effect on the respiratory tract, leading to asthma, chronic bronchitis, lung cancer, and other respiratory diseases. Research has proven that the rates of these diseases are significantly higher in those with high exposure to hexavalent chrome. It is therefore crucial to take diligent measures to eliminate these risks in your employees in order to prevent the potential for your employees to contract fatal diseases.
Fight the problem at the source
The best way to combat the impact of chromium exposure is to stop the exposure from happening in the first place, by filtering and dispersing the problem at the source. The typical sources of hexavalent chromium fumes are hot work operations such like welding, as well as metal and thermal spraying. Both of these activities are usually performed at a localized level, so even a small ventilation system can be very effective in keeping your workplace safe, but they also produce uniquely tiny fumes that require filters expertly tailored to suit the operations that you are performing.