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Half life of chromium in serum and urine in a former plasma cutter of stainless steel
  1. Rolf Petersena,b,
  2. Jane Frølund Thomsena,
  3. Niels Kjærgaard Jørgensenc,
  4. Sigurd Mikkelsena
  1. aDepartment of Occupational Medicine, Glostrup Hospital, University of Copenhagen, DK-2600 Glostrup, Denmark, bDepartment of Occupational Medicine, Slagelse Hospital, DK-4200 Slagelse, Denmark, cDepartment of Occupational Medicine, Nykøbing Falster Hospital, DK-4800 Nykøbing F, Denmark
  1. Dr Rolf Petersen, Arbejdsmedicinsk Afdeling, Centralsygehuset i Slagelse, DK-4200 Slagelse, Denmark email scrope{at}


For 8 years chromium in serum and urine has been followed up in a former plasma cutter of stainless steel who was exposed to airborne dust and fumes containing chromium during this work. After the first examination for serum chromium the exposure ended. Serum chromium concentration has been measured seven times during the period and was initially very high and has subsequently dropped slowly. The half life was 40 months in serum. Urinary chromium has been measured five times. The half life was 129 months in urine. The study shows that exposure to airborne dust and fumes containing chromium may cause accumulation of chromium in the body, and that when exposure ends, elimination of chromium is very slow. Previous studies suggest that chromium mainly accumulates in the lungs.

  • chromium half life
  • plasma cutting
  • stainless steel

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