In 1995, EPA issued the chromium electroplating maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standard that applies to hazardous air pollutant (HAP) emissions from decorative and hard chromium electroplating and chromic acid anodizing operations. This standard, also amended in 2004, includes both an emissions limits and a surface tension standard to control emissions of hexavalent chromium. Pursuant to the Clean Air Act, EPA is required to conduct a residual risk assessment and technology review of the rule every eight years.
As part of its review and assessment process, EPA issued a proposed regulation in October 2010. While EPA indicated that no new control technologies are available to control hexavalent chromium emissions, the agency suggested there was a potential residual risk to an exposed population of approximately 14 million Americans. The proposed rule included a set of revised work practices and a three-year phase-out of PFOS-based fume suppressants that are used to control hex chrome emissions. The NASF presented data and other comments to EPA and the White House Office of Management and Budget that demonstrated that EPA had relied on flawed data and had over-estimated the residual risk posed by emissions from chromium electroplating and anodizing operations. As a result, EPA concluded that the risk posed by the existing emissions of hexavalent chromium from plating and anodizing was not significant.
Editor PickChromium 6 stays on the market ... for now
Despite a 2009 directive from the U.S. Department of Defense acquisition chief to phase out the use of hexavalent chromium, the DoD is going forward with a plan to continue use of the cancer-causing corrosion inhibitor.