Evaluation of Total, Water-soluble and Hexavalent Chromium Contents in Construction Materials(Concretes, Cements)

Choi, In-Ja;Yoon, Chung-Sik;Choi, Sang-Jun

  • Published : 2007.12.31


The objective of the study is to determine the contents of total chromium, water-soluble chromium and hexavalent chromium in cements and concretes specimens taken from manufacturing or construction sites. Chromate is an allergen that is widespread in the environment and is richly contained in cements. Metals were extracted with microwave oven and analyzed by atomic absorption spectrometer. Hexavalent chromium was analysed by ion chromatography. The concentrations of total chromium, water-soluble chromium and hexavalent chromium in cements were $36.02{\sim}108.01,\;15.95{\sim}89.01\;and\;26.77{\sim}89.61\;mg/kg$, respectively. The concentrations of hexavalent chromium in cements were higher than 2 mg/kg, a maximum value recommended in Northern European Countries. The concentrations of total chromium, water-soluble chromium and hexavalent chromium in concretes were $17.44{\sim}76.25,\;0.98{\sim}17.71\;and\;ND{\sim}24.13\;mg/kg$, respectively. Especially Hexavalent chromium was detected only from concrete specimens from construction sites. It is oxidized or reduced status by environmental condition or surrounding materials.


total; water-soluble and hexavalent chromium;dermatitis;cement;concrete


  1. In The Construction Chart Book : Third Edition. NIOSH, 2002
  2. Shin, Y.C., Paik, N.W., Yi, G.Y, Lee, B.K. and Lee, J.T. : Reduction of Hexavalent Chromium Collected on PVC Filters in Field Electroplating Process. Korean Journal of Environmental Health, 28(1), 41-50, 2002
  3. Lee, J.T. and Shin, Y.C. : Relationship between Worker's Exposure to Airborne Chromium and Blood and Urine Chromium Levels in Plating Process. Korean Journal of Environmental Health, 27(3), 1-10, 2001
  4. ISO 15202-2-2001, Workplace air-determination of metals and metalloids in airborne particulate matter by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry-part 2: sample preparation. annex B: sample dissolution method for soluble metal and metalloid compounds. Geneva: International Organization for Standardization. 2001
  5. US BLS : Incidence rates for nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses involving days away from work per 10,000 full-time workers by nature of injury or illness and industry division. Available from:, 1995
  6. Shin, Y.C. and Paik, N.W. : Field validation of a sampling and analytical method developed for preventing airborne hexavalent chromium collected on PVC filterfrom reduction. Korean Journal of Environmental Health, 28(2), 109-116, 2002
  7. Avnstorp, C. : Risk factors for cement eczema. Contact Dermatitis, 25, 81-88, 1991
  8. NIOSH manual of analytical methods 7604: Chromium, hexavalent. US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. 1994b
  9. Potgietera, S.S., Panichevb, N., Potgieterc, J.H. and Panicheva, S. : Determination of hexavalent chromium in South African cements and cement-related materials with electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry. Cement and Concrete Research, 33, 1589-1593, 2003
  10. Microwave Sample Preparation Note: 5EN-6. Kiln dust. CEM application note. 1998
  11. Burrows, D. and Robert, M.A. : Occupation Skin Disease. WB Saunders, Philadelphia, PA, 349, 1990
  12. Yoon, C.S. : A Study on Fume Generation Rates and Airbone Hexavalent Chromium on Welding Process. Graduate School of Public Health, Department of Environmental Health Seoul National University, 1999
  13. Osamu, Y., Masaya, I., Yasuhiro, U. and Shunsuke, H. : A method for the determination of total Cr(VI) in cement. Journal of the European Ceramic Society, 26(4-5), 785-790, 2006
  14. Eugeniusz, S. : Chromium in Portland cement. Cement Wapno Gips. 1, 1-16, 1985
  15. Fregert, S. and Rorsman, H. : Allergy to chromium, nickel and cobalt. Acta Dermato Venereologica, 46, 144-148, 1966
  16. Frias, M and Sanchez Rojas, M.I. : Total and soluble chromium, nickel and cobalt contents in the main materials used in the manufacturing of Spanish commercial cements. Cement and Concrete Research, 32, 435-440, 2002
  17. Construction Materials: A Compilation committee for construction materials teaching, Bosunggak, 44-48, 2005