Hexavalent chromium testing

Hexavalent chromium, also known as chromium-6, has been used in the paint and steel industry for decades. It is added to lacquer, primer and paint to strengthen it and prevent rusting. When hexavalent chromium coatings are processed, the substance can be released. It can be harmful to health when it appears in the form of dust, smoke or vapor.

In the Netherlands, the limit for hexavalent chromium in air has recently been lowered and the compound has been added to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment’s list of carcinogens. With our hexavalent chromium inspection service, we can detect the presence of hexavalent chromium at your site using a unique, reliable method that can be completed within five minutes.

Frequently used, hard to detect

Many window frames, fences, bridges, installations, vessels and vehicles have hexavalent chromium coatings. Without additional safety measures in place, maintenance, cleaning or demolition of these structures can be life threatening. However, it is difficult to determine where hexavalent chromium has been applied. The coating used is usually not registered and laboratory tests to identify hexavalent chromium have not always been reliable.

Hexavalent chromium found on site

We have developed a unique, reliable field method for identifying hexavalent chromium on site in a matter of minutes. With this method, there is no need to take paint samples. Instead, the existing elements in the old layers of paint are detected by means of a scanning method that identifies chromium compounds as well as other heavy metals, such as lead and zinc.
If chromium compounds are found, we immediately follow up with a rapid test that determines whether there are traces of hexavalent chromium within a few minutes. If necessary or desired, we will then take paint samples for further investigation in our laboratory. We can also measure the amount of hexavalent chromium in the paint layers, to provide you with more specific details.

Reporting and advice

Once the inspection is completed, you will receive a report that clearly states which locations have been investigated and what the test results were, so you have a good understanding of the composition of the different layers of coating. Based on your situation, our advisers will show you how to deal with any hexavalent chromium that has been found. If you wish, they can guide you further along in the process.

Monitoring and final inspection

We will monitor the concentration of chromium-6 in the air during work activities, to ensure that the situation remains manageable. A final inspection post-processing lets you know when it is safe to enter the location again.

Why choose SGS?

We will simplify the entire process for you, offering you immediate, reliable insight regarding the presence of hexavalent chromium and other heavy metals. We work with almost all industries and sectors of business and can be at your site within four hours in the event of a disaster, to carry out an investigation based on all applicable standards.

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