Home /
Search 🔍
the Site

Chime right in! (no registration req'd)


"Chromate Environmental Concerns"


Please elaborate a little on the demise of chromates due to environmental concerns. Is this already a given decision, or just in discussion? If already decided, what might be the timetable?

Mike McMonagle
- Houston, Texas


Speaking from Europe, chromates are gone (with the exception of the military). Chromates are carcinogenic and, although fantastic for conversion coats, should never have been used.

John Tuohy
- Ireland


I would not go so far as that. Your exception proves the rule, that chromate conversion coatings are incredibly useful, versatile, cost effective, and the carcinogenic properties of the dried film matters nothing when it is on landing gear, which military or not, needs to be very robust. While I am a card-carrying tree hugger, I find some of the rules for use of heavy metal in automobiles a bit ridiculous, and seem to me to be driven by politics, not science.

"The Dose Makes the Poison"
from Abe Books


Affiliate Link
(finishing.com earns commission on what you buy after clicking)

For instance, I recently read in Tin News, that the lead balance weights for automobile tires will be banned because of some estimate of millions of kilograms of lead being released into the environment by thrown weights along the roadside. I don't believe that a 10 or 40 gram lead weight buried in the first 5 or 10 feet along a roadway has any effect on the surrounding environment. I doubt that lead will leach into the groundwater, and it's not like lead shot, which is small enough to be ingested by wildlife.

I guess I don't understand the reason for removing lead from leaded steel, as far as the recycling of the automobile is concerned, and the same for removal of chromated zinc fasteners and such from the body and engine of cars.

So what is the problem with chromates and end-of-life for automobiles? I would like to know.


tom pullizzi animated    tomPullizziSignature
Tom Pullizzi
Falls Township, Pennsylvania


You should find a copy of the "End of Life Vehicle" (or ELV) Directive just issued by the European Parliament. This is an actual law that will prohibit the use of hexavalent chrome, cadmium, lead, and mercury in newly manufactured automobiles. The "Annex 2" section is being revised as we speak, and the EU claims they will release the revision in April.

tim neveau
Tim Neveau
Rochester Hills, Michigan


When I was studying Environmental Science at a certain university which was founded by a beer brewer named John H., I wrote a paper entitled "The Problem With Hexavalent Chromium". The paper dealt with both the anthropogenic effects of CrVI within nature and the management of said within industrial processes. A large percentage of the material I collected for my paper was sourced via the EPA. Anyone with basic environmental research knowledge is aware that the EPA accumulates "cold, hard" facts by using phrases such as, "have been found to" and "may be associated with" to establish data which will be media broadcasted to scare the living heck out of soccer moms and various others who have no knowledge of anything save entitlement and emotion. I was going to ask finishing.com to indulge me while I quoted about 3 paragraphs from my paper, however, I will extend mercy unto the readers and articulate a small percentage of the highlight findings of said paper:
1. The respiratory tract is the major target organ for CrVI.
2. Chronic exposure to CrVI by inhalation has been associated with increased potential of lung cancer for humans (Did those humans also smoke cigarettes? What was the basic lifestyle of those humans? etc.? No one knows. The "scientific" study didn't happen to explore that).
3. Noncancer affects of CrVI (in limited human studies) have been found to include perforations and ulcerations of the septum, bronchitis, decreased pulmonary function, pneumonia, asthma, and nasal itching and soreness (So has house dust, wooooo).
4. Chronic exposure may also produce effects on the liver, kidney, gastrointestinal and immune systems, and possibly the blood (Chronic exposure to anything has shown to do that).
5. Dose-response studies indicate that if molting grass shrimp are exposed to CrVI saturation for great lengths of time, they may exhibit some nerve axion damage (NO DUH).
6. Many studies indicate that natural attenuation returns CrVI to CRIII (NO DUH. Chromium is part of nature; nature knows how to deal with nature).

To quote one of the epilog statements within my paper, "While these compounds are not going away anytime soon, there are many steps which will certainly reduce the risk of release and exposure. Education and awareness are the keys". Bottom line? We're all going to die. Use a little common sense along the way. Or is that too much to "aks" from our dumbed-down society? And, Tom, you described yourself as a card-carrying tree-hugger. Me thinks not. You actually employ a rational thought process in making decisions. Tree-huggers want only to bring an end to free society.

randy fowler
Randall Fowler - Fowler Industrial Plating, LLC
Cleveland, Tennessee, USA

finishing.com is made possible by ...
this text gets replaced with bannerText
spacer gets replaced with bannerImages

Q, A, or Comment on THIS thread SEARCH for Threads about ... My Topic Not Found: Start NEW Thread

Disclaimer: It's not possible to fully diagnose a finishing problem or the hazards of an operation via these pages. All information presented is for general reference and does not represent a professional opinion nor the policy of an author's employer. The internet is largely anonymous & unvetted; some names may be fictitious and some recommendations might be harmful.

If you are seeking a product or service related to metal finishing, please check these Directories:

Chemicals &
Consult'g, Train'g
& Software

About/Contact    -    Privacy Policy    -    ©1995-2021 finishing.com, Pine Beach, New Jersey, USA