So dangerous that it has more than one name, you may also hear it referred to as Hexavalent Chromium. I’ll use CrVI in this blog.
CrVI came to ‘fame’ in the USA following a now popular story about Erin Brockovich? A film was made about the identification of CrVI in water supplies to her town and her quest to stop the contamination. Not one I’ve seen yet…
CrVI is highly dangerous, as the title suggests, and is a known carcinogen (causes cancer) with only slight exposure a risk to human health. Exposure is dangerous in any form, whether inhaled, digested, or touched, giving it a recipe for a very dangerous substance.
CrVI is used in many industries including steel processing, leather tanning, and is used as an anti-corrosive.
As you’ll see in the photo above, CrVI in soluble form is yellow in colour which makes it relatively easy to spot when leaking in to surface waters.
The good news is that CrVI can be treated / removed from groundwater. Extensive treatment works have taken place across the central belt of Scotland following gross contamination of the groundwater from chromium processing.