BLC Leather Technology

Chrome VI Prevention Solution


Chrome VI Prevention Solution

What is Chrome VI?

Hexavalent chromium VI is the hazardous form of this element. It can be formed when trivalent chromium is
oxidised. This usually occurs in the presence of oxygen combined with other factors such as extremes in pH. The salts have a characteristic yellow colour and are classified as carcinogens. Chromium VI is not used in the tanning of leather.

What are the risks of Chrome VI?

Chrome VI is recognized as a human carcinogen when it is inhaled. Chronic inhalation of Chrome VI has been shown to increase risk of lung cancer and may also damage the small capillaries in kidneys and intestines. Other adverse health effects associated with Chrome VI exposure, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), include skin irritation or ulceration and allergic contact dermatitis

What legislation relates to Chrome VI?

Following an EU proposal, there will be a new requirement which prohibits the placing on the market of leather
articles and articles containing leather parts if the content of
chromium VI is equal to or greater than 3 mg/kg of the total dry weight of leather in the leather article or the leather parts. The restriction will apply to leather parts that under normal or foreseeable use come into contact with the skin. The restriction, which is written in Annex XVII of REACH, becomes effective from 1st May 2015.

What is 6-2-3?

6-2-3 is a unique patented chemical formulation which reduces the levels of chrome VI found within leather samples. The solution can be applied either by sponge or spray application directly to the surface of the leather. In testing trials, 6-2-3 proved effective in reducing levels of chrome VI from above 3mg/kg (prohibited) down to none detectable levels (<3mg/kg).
Note: Use of 6-2-3 should not be looked to as a routine, remedial part of leather processing; all necessary steps should be taken during leather processing to ensure the risk of chrome VI formation is minimised.

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