Chromium in FumeChromium can be present in fume in different forms. There are two main forms of chromium found in welding, trivalent, Cr3+, and hexavalent, Cr6+. Hexavalent chromium is considered the more hazardous of the two forms, and in welding fume it is a suspected human carcinogen.
Chromium is an element present in the consumables and parent material of stainless steels, heat-resisting steels, some creep-resisting steels, some high nickel alloys, and armour plate. It may also be present in some consumables used for hardfacing.
Chromium is also used as a coating for other materials, such as chrome plating, to give corrosion protection to steel, or to give a pleasing aesthetic appearance.
Chromium, as chromate, may also be found as a constituent of some industrial paints.
Welding or cutting materials containing chromium is likely to give chromium compounds in any particulate fume that is generated by the process. Whether it presents a significant hazard to health depends on the concentration and the duration of exposure.