Author(s): Cohen MD, Kargacin B, Klein CB, Costa M
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Abstract Chromium, like many transition metal elements, is essential to life at low concentrations yet toxic to many systems at higher concentrations. In addition to the overt symptoms of acute chromium toxicity, delayed manifestations of chromium exposure become apparent by subsequent increases in the incidence of various human cancers. Chromium is widely used in numerous industrial processes, and as a result is a contaminant of many environmental systems. Chromium, in its myriad chemical forms and oxidation states, has been well studied in terms of its general chemistry and its interactions with biological molecules. However, the precise mechanisms by which chromium is both an essential metal and a carcinogen are not yet fully clear. The following review does not seek to embellish upon the proposed mechanisms of the toxic and carcinogenic actions of chromium, but rather provides a comprehensive review of these theories. The chemical nature of chromium compounds and how these properties impact upon the interactions of chromium with cellular and genetic targets, including animal and human hosts, are discussed.
This article was published in Crit Rev Toxicol
and referenced in Vitamins & Minerals