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the Trade with Independence and Integrity

chromium VI

As of today, May 1st 2015, Chromium is now regulated throughout the EU by the REACH Regulations and all sectors of the supply chain should be aware of the new legislation. The amendment of REACH Annex XVII of (EC) No 1907/2006 regarding Chromium VI compounds in leather articles and articles containing leather parts now restricts Chromium VI content to a very low 3 mg/kg (0.0003%). This is in line with legislation already in place in European nations such as Germany.

AnchorCert Analytical is UKAS accredited to carry out Chromium VI testing in our onsite fully equipped state of the art analytical laboratory at Assay Office Birmingham. The turnaround time for this service is just 4 working days.

Chromium VI is a known carcinogen and can also cause skin irritation, corrosion, ulcers, sensitization, and allergic contact dermatitis. It is hazardous both in its airborne form and when a product is in close contact with the skin and is already restricted in some products such as cement to prevent harm to workers.  Chromium VI is also found in leather products and its regulation has been an on-going issue as it has been restricted at different levels by varying national legislation for many years.

The regulation impacts on a wide range of products such as:
Watchstraps, purses, wallets, bags, footwear, gloves, protective wear, garments, hats, belts, braces,  horse riding equipment, dog leads, furniture, car seats and steering wheels.

leather items

The amendment, which comes into force in May 2015 PROHIBITS any leather articles or articles containing leather parts that come into direct, prolonged or repetitive contact with skin which contain greater than 3 mg/kg (0.0003%) of Chromium VI from BEING PLACED ON THE MARKET.

Around 80% of the world's leather production is tanned with Chromium salts which enable the finished leather to be supple and pliable and suitable to a range of end use products. During leather tanning Chromium III is used to create a highly versatile leather suited to most industries and if the tanning processes are carried out correctly then the resulting leather will be completely safe to use. However it is the presence of Chromium VI which is of concern to the consumer.

Chromium VI is not used within the leather tanning process, but its presence may occur by oxidation of Chromium III due to a variety of reasons. For example oxidation of Chromium III can occur with extremely high acidity or temperature. Likewise if chrome powder is sourced from a non-reputable supply then there is a possibility that it may contain Chromium VI as an impurity

look to the lab - fabrics

Chromium VI testing at AnchorCert Analytical

Testing to the new standard requires experts to be equipped with sophisticated equipment to detect the low levels sufficiently accurately to ensure the product is compliant. AnchorCert Analytical has the necessary expertise and resources and is UKAS accredited to carry out Chromium VI testing. Analysis is carried out by UV/vis determination after derivatisation of an extracted solution and AnchorCert Analytical offers a fast turnaround time of just 4 working days to help ensure that products are below the legal limit and safe for the market place.  To download a test request form please click here


For more information on Chromium VI or any other testing services contact Tim Smith or Steve Franklin on +44 (0)121 262 1017 or email



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