Epidemiologic studies of chrome and cancer mortality: a series of meta-analyses

Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2005 Dec;43(3):225-31. doi: 10.1016/j.yrtph.2005.06.009. Epub 2005 Aug 15.


We used 49 epidemiologic studies based on 84 papers published since 1950 to develop an array of meta-analyses relating exposure to chrome-six compounds with 10 causes of death. Most exposures occurred in occupational settings. Studies were assessed for quality, and for control of smoking or economic status if they related to lung or stomach cancer. There was no excess mortality from all causes combined among chrome-exposed persons. A minimal excess of cancer (SMR=112), overall, was due primarily to an excess of lung cancer (SMR=141) but the SMR was 112 among the better-quality, smoking-controlled studies. The overall SMR for stomach cancer was 113 but it was 82 among the studies that were controlled for economic status. Findings were unremarkable for the six other cancers evaluated: prostate, kidney, and central nervous system cancer and leukemia, Hodgkin's disease and other lymphatohematopoietic cancer. This series of meta-analyses indicates that chrome-six is a weak cause of lung cancer and is not a cause of any of the other seven forms of cancer evaluated.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Central Nervous System Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Central Nervous System Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Central Nervous System Neoplasms / mortality
  • Chromium / toxicity*
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / mortality
  • Hodgkin Disease / chemically induced
  • Hodgkin Disease / epidemiology
  • Hodgkin Disease / mortality
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Kidney Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Kidney Neoplasms / mortality
  • Leukemia / chemically induced
  • Leukemia / epidemiology
  • Leukemia / mortality
  • Lung Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Lung Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / mortality
  • Stomach Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Stomach Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Stomach Neoplasms / mortality


  • Chromium