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Chromium - research

Uploaded by mr krabs on Oct 05, 2002

Chromium was discovered by Louis – Nicholas Vauquelin in France, 1797 and prepared the metal itself the following year. The name Chromium originated from the Greek word “chroma” meaning “color”, named for the many colored compounds known for Chromium. Chromium is a steel-gray metal used to produce stainless steel and helps with corrosion.

Chromium is a naturally occurring element found in rocks, animals, plants, soil, and in volcanic dust and gases. It is present in several forms such as: chromium(0), chromium(III), and chromium(VI), which are the most common. These forms have no odor or taste. Chromium(III) occurs naturally while chromium(VI) and chromium(0) are produced by industrial processes. Metal chromium, which is the chromium(0) form are used to make steel. Chromium(VI) and chromium(III) are used for chrome plating, dyes and pigments, leather tanning, and wood preserving.

Not all chromium forms are healthy to the environment. Chromium enters through the air, water, and soil mostly through the form of chromium(III) and chromium(VI). Chromium is strongly attached to soil and only a small amount can dissolve in water and move deeper in the soil to underground water. Chromium(III) is an essential nutrient that helps our body use sugar, protein, and fat. Although chromium(III) is healthy, chromium(VI) can cause irritation to the nose when breathing high levels of it. Several studies have shown that chromium(VI) compounds can increase the risk of lung cancer.

Chromium in general is a transition metal with four energy levels. The first level contains 2 electrons, the second 8, the third 13, and the fourth 1. It weighs 51.996 amu and can be found in the periodic table in period 4 and group 6. Various colored gemstones ( ruby, emerald, serpentine) owe their color to chromium. Chromium trioxide is used in chrome plating and as a colorant for ceramics. Chromium oxide, lead chromate, and other chromium compounds are used as pigments. Chromium dioxide, strongly magnetic, is used in recording tapes.

All in all, chromium can be toxic, a nutrient, or a substance in which to help produce other man – made materials. Chromium is in everyone’s bodies because it naturally occurs in our food. Birth defects though, have been discovered due to the exposion of chromium(VI) for animals and humans.

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Uploaded by:   mr krabs

Date:   10/05/2002

Category:   Chemistry

Length:   2 pages (367 words)

Views:   2283

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