Chromium and the Immune System

  • Mitchell D Cohen
Reference work entry


Pallas was the first to discover chromium in 1765; the element itself was not isolated until 1797 by Nicolas Vauquelin. Fourcroy and Hauy (1798) were first to suggest the name from chroma (Greek for color) due to the many colored compounds found to contain the element. By 1816, manufacture of chromium chemicals had begun; by 1820, mordant dyeing with chromium agents was initiated; by the mid-1800s, leather tanning with chromic acid became a common practice; by 1879, chromite was routinely used in manufacturing refractory furnaces; by 1910, use of chromium for metallurgy became common; and in the 1920s chromium agents became important for manufacture of metal alloys and found extensive application in growing markets for automobiles and home appliances.

Molecular Characteristics

Chromium (Cr) is a Group VI B  transition element that can exist in oxidation states from +2 to +6. Only Cr 0, Cr 2+, Cr 3+, and Cr 6+ forms are routinely encountered; Cr 5+ and Cr 4+complexes have been...
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mitchell D Cohen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental MedicineNew York University School of MedicineTuxedoUSA