Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology
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The European Union restricted the amount of hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) in leather in 2015, but skin allergy cases due to Cr-tanned leather are not declining. Standardized extraction methods have been criticized to both over- and underestimate the expected amount of bioavailable Cr(VI) in leather. This study aims to evaluate the ability of four extraction solutions to reduce or preserve Cr(VI): artificial sweat solutions (ASWs) of pH 4.7, 6.5, and 8.0, and phosphate buffer (PB) of pH 8.0. This was investigated by incubating each solution with added Cr(VI) as a function of time, and then measuring the recovered Cr(VI). All solutions, especially PB, preserved Cr(VI) for 24 hours. These solutions were also pre-exposed to Cr free vegetable-tanned leather (VTL) before incubation with Cr(VI). Released vegetable tannin species strongly reduced Cr(VI), with up to 4,000 µg/L added Cr(VI) reduced in all solutions after 24 h. However, after 1 h, Cr(VI) was still detectable in extraction solutions at pH 6.5 and above. The reduction of Cr(VI) in relevant extraction solutions is hence a process dependent on time, pH, and the presence of co-released leather species. All extraction solutions, but least PB, have the potential to underestimate any Cr(VI) present on the surface of leather.
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Available for download on Tuesday, August 01, 2023