It all relates to a toxic chemical that gives chrome its classic, shiny finish.
California is on a mission to ban a hazardous chemical that gives chrome its distinctive shine, a move that has angered those working in, and linked to, the car restoration and customization industries across the state.
According to the board item summary from the California Air Resources Board (CARB), it will consider changes to the regulations for chrome plating that would include the phasing out of hexavalent chromium, said to be a toxic air contaminant that poses a health risk to communities living near chrome plating facilities.
Hexavalent chromium has been used for years to create the mirror-like chrome finish found on everything from kitchen faucets to car bumpers. The plating process’s airborne emissions are believed to be more toxic than diesel exhaust.
CARB’s ban would be the first of its kind in the world, and it proposes a ban on chrome-6 in decorative plating by 2027. Jane Williams, executive director at California Communities Against Toxics, stated that the chemical will still be able for industrial purposes such as anti-corrosive coatings. “Even the EU hasn’t done it because they haven’t found a replacement for crucial uses. We would work with the military and the industry to identify new coatings. That’s precedent-setting. “
Over 110 chrome plating facilities could be affected by the ban, many of which are located in Los Angeles County. This area has the country’s highest concentration of chrome platers, catering to the many car enthusiasts and aerospace companies there.
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