The Health Risks Associated With Chrome Plating
While chrome plating, cadmium plating, and electroplating are widely used on an array of products & materials, the fact of the matter is the chemicals and metals involved in the different plating processes can be toxic to both the environment and especially to a person’s health. Exploring the process of chrome plating and metal plating a little bit can help us to understand the risks involved when it comes to doing any type of metal plating yourself.
What Chemicals In The Plating Process Are Toxic?
First and foremost Hexavalent Chromium is a type of chromic acid that is widely used in the chrome electroplating process to finish different metals. It is HIGHLY toxic and must be handled with great care and proper safety precautions. In fact, there are a number of health risks that are associated with exposure to Hexavalent Chromium. Many that handle Hexavalent Chromium have been known to suffer from cancer, damage to kidneys, lungs, eyes, skin & lower respiratory symptoms. Hexavalent Chromium is a known carcinogen and also utilizes lead that can be absorbed through the skin causing lead toxicity & lead poisoning.
Cadmium is another plating material that is highly toxic & can cause cancer as well as lung and kidney failure. Cyanide is also a chemical utilized with chrome or electroplating and is very toxic to humans and considered a very deadly material. Along with extreme safety and health risks to humans, the materials used in the plating process can be harmful to the environment as well. By-products along with the chemicals being used can cause major water & soil contamination if not treated correctly before waste disposal occurs. It is prudent that any facility practicing any kind of metal plating dispose of their waste products properly & according to the safety and health guidelines set in place.
In the end, we don’t mean to scare you off plating with this article, we just hope to express awareness to the entirety of the chrome plating or electroplating process. Safety and health risks should be taken seriously whenever any type of metal plating is attempted. Knowing the proper safety & hazard measures can help to prevent any damage to the environment and also can help to prevent different types of cancer from any exposure you may have as well as organ damage and in severe cases death.