How to Control Exposure to Chromium in Paint

What are the Hazards of Chromate Paint?

Employees who work in Paint Shops that spray Chromate paint may be exposed to Hexavalent Chromium. Cr(VI) is a hazardous metal generated when it becomes air borne from sanding and prepping the surface and when spraying. It is considered to be a potential occupational carcinogen. Cr(VI) exposure affects the skin, throat, nose, and lungs, and can cause kidney and liver damage.

Exposure to Cr(VI) is best controlled through ventilation. However, traditional spray booths are designed to control vapors and may not control the heavier Chromate Paint, It is important that spray booths are tested to determine if air flow is adequate. Sanding should be conducted in a sanding booth or sanders with built in ventilation. Air sampling for Cr(VI) exposure should be conducted. If exposures are high, a Hexavalent Chromium program should be implemented that may include air monitoring, employee notification, engineering and administrative controls, respiratory protection, protective clothing and equipment, hygiene practices, housekeeping, medical monitoring, signage and labeling, and training.

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