Chromium - The History of the Threatening Metal
In the mid 18th century analysis of Siberian "red lead" from Siberia showed that it contained quite a lot of lead, but also a further material.
In 1797, Nicolas-Louis Vauquelin received samples of crocoite ore. He was able to produce chromium oxide by mixing crocoite with hydrochloric acid. In 1798, Vauquelin discovered that he could isolate metallic chromium by heating the oxide in a charcoal oven. He was also able to detect traces of chromium in precious gemstones, such as rubies and emeralds. A year or two after Vauquelin's discovery, a German chemist named Tassaert working in Paris found chromium in an ore now called chromite. This ore is now an important source of chromium.
In 1761, Johann Gottlob Lehmann found an orange-red mineral in the Ural Mountains which he named Siberian red lead. Though misidentified as a lead compound with selenium and iron components, the material was in fact lead chromate, now known as the mineral crocoite.
During the 1800's chromium was primarily used as a component of paints and in tanning salts, but now 85 percent of its use is for metal alloys. The remainder is used in the chemical industry and refractory and foundry industries.
If you are exposed to chromium, many factors determine whether you will be harmed. These factors include the dose (how much), the duration (how long), and how you come in contact with it/them. You must also consider the other chemicals you’re exposed to and your age, sex, diet, family traits, lifestyle, and state of health.
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