Lung cancer: Signs and symptoms to look out for
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Lung cancer is one of the most common and serious types of cancer with its survival rate not showing much improvement in the last 40 years in the UK. Chromium is a versatile metal that has many uses. If you paint, many dyes and pigments contain chromium. Chromium in the hexavalent state can be readily absorbed and potentially lead to toxic or carcinogenic effects including a higher risk of lung cancer.
Hexavalent chromium is a form of the metallic element chromium.
Chromium is a naturally occurring element found in rocks, animals, plants, soil and gases.
“Hexavalent chromium is also used in the production and use of stainless steel and other chromium alloys, in pigments for paint and pottery, as catalysts in the chemical manufacturing industry, for the production of dyestuffs, in leather tanning agents, wood preservation,” said Public Health England.
They are added to anticorrosive agents to paints, primers, and other surface coatings with chromic acid electroplated onto metal parts to provide a decorative or protective coating.
Major sources of hexavalent chromium in drinking water are discharges from steel and pulp mills, metal plating operations, boiler water corrosion control applications and erosion of natural deposits which later become oxidised.
At some locations, chromium compounds have been released to the environment via leakage, poor storage, or improper disposal practises.
Chrome plated steel products are still used today for a huge range of uses from homes to caravans, chalets and modular homes.
Hexavalent chromium plating is the traditional method of chromium plating and is used for decorative and functional finishes.
One study published in the National Library of Health further delved into hexavalent chromium’s impact on lung cancer risk.
The study noted: “A key hypothesis for how hexavalent chromium causes cancer is that it drives chromosome instability, which leads to neoplastic transformation.”
Chromosomal instability is a hallmark of human cancer, and it is associated with poor prognosis, metastasis, and therapeutic resistance.
“Studies show chronic hexavalent chromium can impact DNA repair and induce centrosome amplification, which can lead to structural and numerical chromosomal instability.”
The study exposed human lung cells to hexavalent chromium for three sequential 24-hour periods, each separated by about a month.
Each generation of clones was tested for chromium sensitivity, chromosome complement, DNA repair capacity, centrosome amplification, and the ability to grow further.
After the first treatment, clones exhibited a normal chromosome complement, but some clones showed a repair-deficiency.
After the second exposure, more than half of the treated clones acquired an abnormal karyotype including numerical and structural alterations, with many exhibiting deficient DNA double strand break repair.
The third treatment produced new abnormal clones, with previously abnormal clones acquiring additional abnormalities and most clones exhibiting repair deficiency.
“These outcomes support the hypothesis that chromosomal instability is a key mechanism of hexavalent chromium-induced carcinogenesis,” concluded the study.
The presence of hexavalent chromium in the environment does not always lead to exposure.
In order for it to cause any adverse health effects, you must come into contact with it.
“You may be exposed by breathing, eating, or drinking the substance or by skin contact,” said Public Health England.
“Following exposure to any chemical, the adverse health effects, you may encounter depend on several factors, including the amount to which you are exposed (dose), the way you are exposed, the duration of exposure, the form of the chemical and if you are exposed to any other chemicals.”
Because hexavalent chromium is also toxic and carcinogenic, its use is widely regulated, including under the EU Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive; the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Regulation; and California Proposition 65.
Compliance efforts may be complicated by the fact that hexavalent chromium is referred to in many different ways, ranging from simplified terms to complex chemical names.
Other forms of chromium exist and may sometimes be confused with hexavalent chromium, since the names and terms are similar.
Source: Read Full Article