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What are the dangers and ways to control danger of chromate

  1. Jan 11, 2016 #1
    In what ways would a dissolved anion of chromate/dichromate such as in potassium dichromate, be dangerous? I know it's a strong oxidizer and a carcinogen (causes cancer), I would like to know what kind of contact will cause these to take effect and to what extent (i.e. contact with solution liquid on bare skin versus inhaling of solution vapour)

    Beside these, is there a safe way to load a very dilute solution of chromate in a cuvette for the use of a photospectrometer? What do I have to be careful about? Any suggested protection?
    In addition, what will be the effect of combining the solution with dilute inorganic acid or base?

    I tried to look for an official website with regulated evaluation of chromate's toxicity, but I can't find anything practical or answer the above questions.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 11, 2016 #2

    Borek

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    Staff: Mentor

    Standard lab coat, glasses and gloves are perfectly enough, chromate is not particularly nasty.
     
  4. Jan 11, 2016 #3
    What about the fumes? Would the fume be a problem?
     
  5. Jan 11, 2016 #4

    Borek

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    No fumes as long as you don't boil the solution (and even then ionic substances in general are not volatile and the vapor is mostly pure water). Whenever you have to work with concentrated, hot solutions the risk of fumes is higher, but even then just a good fume hood will work in most cases, and it will definitely work for chromates.
     
  6. Jan 11, 2016 #5
    Thanks a lot, one last thing, is there any way to make chromate or dichromate harmless via chemical reaction?
     
  7. Jan 11, 2016 #6

    Borek

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    Staff: Mentor

    In every similar case (toxic heavy metal) only dissolved ionic forms pose a risk, so if you convert it into some insoluble compound you are much safer (barium salts are toxic, yet because of its low solubility BaSO4 is safe and routinely used as radiocontrast in X-ray imaging). In the case of Cr(VI) you can also reduce it to Cr(III) or Cr(II) which are generally considered safe (not that I would eat them).
     
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