Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hexavalent Chromium-Respirator Protection

Respirator Protection:

August 13, 2009

Respirators can be an effective engineering safety control when dealing with Hexavalent Chromium (CrVI). This option is very easy to implement, and can be cheaper then some of the other solutions such as fume extractors, and air evacuation systems. Further, operators have greater range and flexibility with respirators. Engineering controls should be utilized whenever the permissible exposure limit (PEL) is exceeded. Per OSHA guidelines, the permissible exposure limit (PEL) is 5 (mg/m³) for Hexavalent Chromium. Please keep in mind that the action level is 2.5 (mg/m³). This is the level that special medical attention and monitoring will be required.

A wide range of respirators is available on the marketplace. One of the more superior brands is 3M. They are well aware of the current regulations with Hexavalent Chromium. According to 3M’s website they recommend a N95 filter cartridge when no oil or aerosols are present in the application. For applications where oil or mist may be present they suggest utilize an R or P95 filter cartridge for their respirators. For specific details and selections on 3M respirators visit their site at .

If you believe that you are being exposed to Hexavalent Chromium, or may have a problem at your workplace please consult your safety department. If you do not have safety department, please inform senior manger that there may be a problem, and safety guidelines should be followed. It is important to protect your own health and those surrounding you. Hexavalent Chromium is a known human carcinogen and has been linked to lung cancer, and other terminal illnesses. Remember, safety comes first!

For more information on Hexavalent Chromium please visit:


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