California Considers Hexavalent Chromium Ban

Jan. 26, 2023
Metal finishing group blasts proposed rule, saying it would be costly to replace the material and lead to job losses

California state regulators have proposed a ban on a material that gives chrome its shiny appearance, according to a Jan. 26 Los Angeles Times article.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is calling for a ban on hexavalent chromium, also called chrome-6, in decorative plating by 2027 and for use in industrial durability applications, such as anti-corrosive coatings, by 2039, the LA Times reported. The agency says the health hazards of the plating process disproportionately impact low-income communities.

As the LA Times reports, the hardened chrome is harmless, but the airborne emissions from the plating process are said to be 500 times more toxic than diesel exhaust.

While clean-air advocates support the move, Bryan Leiker, executive director of the Metal Finishing Assn. of California, said facilities that use hexavalent chromium in the production process already must comply with some of the most stringent regulations in the U.S. He said the rules could shutter an entire industry. CARB acknowledges the move would result in thousands of lost jobs and is hoping the rule would encourage facilities to use a less-toxic alternative called trivalent chromium, the LA Times reports.

To read the full LA Times article, click here

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