Determination of extractable chromium from leather
People are exposed to chromium ions from leather materials due to everyday contact with different textile objects. The problem is that Cr(VI) is extremely toxic and may cause contact allergic dermatitis on the skin and may also be a trigger for many diseases. Huge amounts of chromium ions are released by waste waters to rivers after chromium-tanning processes in the leather industry; the presence of chromium is not only a problem for human health, but also for the environment. For this reason it is extremely important to monitor the presence of chromium as Cr(VI) and as total chromium. This study aims to present an appropriate analytical method for monitoring Cr(VI) and the total chromium present on leather materials. Applying this method to chromium-tanned leather samples, it was observed that the amounts of total chromium as well as of Cr(VI) are higher than prescribed and recommended by different regulations. Chromium(VI) exceeded the limit of 3 mg/kg in the majority of tested materials, while the total chromium exceeded the limit of 50 mg/kg in all tested samples. For this reason, it is recommended to avoid direct and prolonged contact of those materials with the skin.
KeywordsSpectroscopy UV/VIS spectroscopy Metal complexes Tanned leather Chromium
We are grateful to Prof. I. Steffan for discussions and to the OeAD for financial support.
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