Chromium is a versatile metal with various industrial applications and biological activities. However, as a transition metal, this element forms several species, i.e. oxidation states of −4 to +6, with different degrees of toxicities that affect ecosystems and organisms including human beings. The skin is the outermost organ that usually interacts directly with chromium species in nature. These contact and interaction induce the formation of several acute and chronic negative effects including contact dermatitis, skin cancer, allergy, etc. In this chapter, toxicity and biological activity of several chromium species, such as chromium zero-valent, trivalent, hexavalent, will be reviewed to obtain better comprehension in chromium toxicity. Sources and routes of exposure, toxicity and possible treatment, and biological activity on the skin are arranged and explained systematically.
Part of the book: Trace Metals in the Environment