High-chromium cement ban proposed

High-chromium cement ban proposed
Published: 11 March 2004

Construction firms have been invited by the UK Health and Safety Commission (HSC) to comment on its plans to ban high-chromium cement.  High-chromium cement is a known cause of allergic dermatitis and the proposed ban would protect anyone who uses cement, concrete, mortar, grout and tile adhesive from the substance. Bill Macdonald, head of policy on skin disease at the HSC, said: "The ban would make illegal the supply and use of cement with more than two parts per million of chromium VI.  "At present, most cement used in the UK contains more than this level of chromium VI and therefore presents an unnecessary risk to workers’ health. It can be made safe through the addition of a reducing agent."  If accepted, the ban would be implemented through an amendment to the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health and Chemical Hazards Information and Packaging regulations 2002, which would come into force in January 2005.