Pollutant Information: Chromium 

About Chromium

Category: Heavy metals and base cations

Inhaled chromium is a carcinogen, leading to an increased risk of lung cancer. Acute exposure effects can result in shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing, whilst chronic exposure effects lead to perforation and ulceration of the septum, bronchitis, pneumonia, and decreased pulmonary function.

Emissions have fallen by 76% since 1990. The largest sources in 2021 are open automobile tyre and brake wear (30%), open burning of waste wood (20%), lubricants (15%), ferrous metal processes such as electric arc steelmaking (10%) and industrial combustion (8%). Open burning of treated wood has become a particularly important source (20% of total 2021 emissions) because emissions from this source has been assumed to remain constant over the time period whereas chromium emissions from many other sources have declined significantly since 1990.

» View and Download Chromium emission summary data

Time series graph

Notable events

Start year End year Sector Information Impact
1984 1985 Public Electricity and Heat Production Miners strike resulting in a reduction in the consumption of coal and an increase in the consumption of alternative fuels in power stations for that year. Decrease in emissions

Chromium contributes to the following...

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