Author(s): Turk K, Rietschel RL
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Abstract Hexavalent chromium sensitization is known to occur from exposure to cement. Concrete is a mixture of cement, sand, rock, and water. Admixtures are compounds used to retard or accelerate concrete setting time. Some countries use ferrous sulfate to reduce hexavalent chromium in cement. We evaluated and compared hexavalent chromium levels in cement, rock (aggregate), and wet and dry concrete in samples from Singapore, Ireland, Denmark, Australia, and the United States. Cement from Denmark contains ferrous sulfate. The effect of representative admixtures on hexavalent chromium concentration in concrete was also evaluated, but technical limitations made evaluation difficult. Soluble chromium levels in cement ranged from 0.225 mg/kg in the US sample to 0.036 mg/kg in the Singapore sample. Aggregate chromium levels ranged from 0.083 mg/kg in the Denmark sample to < 0.002 mg/kg in the Ireland sample. Fresh US concrete, with 1.27 mg/kg hexavalent chromium, contained the highest level. The Denmark sample, with ferrous sulfate added, was lowest (< 0.01 mg/kg). Hardened concrete levels ranged from 0.104 mg/kg from the Ireland sample to 0.002 mg/kg from the Singapore sample. Therefore, hexavalent chromium levels do appear to be influenced by admixtures and by processing from powdered cement to dry concrete. Ferrous sulfate significantly reduced hexavalent chromium levels in fresh cement.
This article was published in Contact Dermatitis
and referenced in Journal of Cytology & Histology