Review of occupational epidemiology of chromium chemicals and respiratory cancer

Sci Total Environ. 1988 Jun 1;71(3):331-9. doi: 10.1016/0048-9697(88)90205-7.


Several epidemiologic studies have investigated the association between cancer risk and employment in chromium producing and using industries. Strong and consistent associations have been found between employment in the primary chemical producing industry and the risk for respiratory cancer. Workers employed in chromate pigment production and possibly spray painters of chromate pigment paints appear to be at excess risk of respiratory cancer. Chrome platers may also be at excess risk, although the evidence is limited. A few studies indicate that chromium alloy welding may also be an exposure source of concern. Some studies of ferrochromium alloy workers have shown an excess risk for respiratory cancer, although the risk may in part be due to concomitant exposures. The evidence indicates that the hexavalent form of chromium is the primary agent of chromium carcinogenesis. Solubility and other characteristics of chromium compounds may also play a role in determining risk.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinogens*
  • Chromium / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Occupational Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology
  • Respiratory Tract Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Respiratory Tract Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors


  • Carcinogens
  • Chromium