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Chronic interstitial nephropathy after plasma cutting in stainless steel.
  1. R Petersen,
  2. S Mikkelsen,
  3. O F Thomsen
  1. Department of Occupational Medicine, Glostrup Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.


    Chromium is nephrotoxic in experimental animals. In subjects with acute chromium intoxication acute nephritis has been reported and renal function has been affected in chromium exposed workers with a high urinary chromium concentration. Chronic kidney disease after long term occupational exposure to chromium has, however, not been reported previously. A case report is presented concerning a 48 year old man who was diagnosed with chronic interstitial nephropathy. He had worked for nine years as a plasma cutter of stainless steel and had thereby been exposed to smoke containing chromium. At the time of diagnosis his blood chromium concentration was seven times higher and his urinary chromium concentration six times higher than reference values. Taking into account the nephrotoxicity of chromium and the high chromium burden of this patient it is considered likely that his exposure to smoke from plasma cutting of stainless steel was the cause of his chronic interstitial nephropathy.

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