Release 06-35      
December 7, 2006


Jerry Martin
Dimitri Stanich 
(916) 322-2990


New Measures will Curb Emissions from Chrome Plating Process

BAKERSFIELD- Today the California Air Resources Board (ARB) adopted new regulations that will significantly reduce emissions of hexavalent chromium, a carcinogen released during the chrome plating and anodizing processes.

"Hexavalent Chromium is an especially potent toxic air contaminant so the measures the board adopted are very stringent," said ARB Chairman, Dr. Robert Sawyer. "This issue is especially important to the communities near these businesses."

The regulations require that chrome plating or anodizing businesses reduce their hexavalent chromium emissions to the fullest extent achievable by technology. As such, new businesses will not be allowed to operate within 1000 feet of residential or mixed use areas. All currently operating businesses will be required to apply emission controls that ensure maximum cancer risk reduction. In addition, all facilities must implement housekeeping measures to diminish contaminated dust. Employees responsible for compliance with California's regulation must attend ARB staff-conducted training every 2 years. And finally, the regulation contains provisions that prohibit the sale of electroplating equipment to untrained people. Once implemented, cancer risks near chrome plating businesses would be reduced by up to 85 percent.

These regulations are in addition to other ARB hexavalent chromium control measures. Earlier the ARB addressed: chrome plating and chromic acid anodizing in 1988 and 1998; cooling towers in 1989; motor vehicle and mobile equipment-coating in 2001; and, thermal spraying in 2004.

Identified by ARB as a Toxic Air Contaminant in 1986, hexavalent chromium is a known human carcinogen with no known level of exposure considered safe. It is one of the most toxic chemicals ARB has identified. Inhalation of hexavalent chromium in the workplace causes lung and nasal cancers, respiratory irritation, nasal and skin ulcerations and lesions, perforation of the nasal septum, and allergic reactions including dermatitis and asthma.

"While chrome plating enhances the appearance and longevity of many products used in California," continued Dr. Sawyer, "there is no need to allow the risk to public health to go unabated. The measures the board passed today will stringently control the process to assure the safety of all especially those living near these businesses. "

For more information: /toxics/chrome/chrome.htm .

The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency.  ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy.  The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.

The energy challenge facing California is real. Every Californian needs to take immediate action to reduce energy consumption. For a list of simple ways you can reduce demand and cut your energy cost, see our web site at

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