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Toxicol Lett. 1998 May;95(3):165-72.

Embryo and fetotoxicity of hexavalent chromium: a long-term study.

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  • 1Metal Analysis Laboratory, Industrial Toxicology Research Centre, M.G. Marg, Lucknow, India.


Ingestion of chromium(VI) (250, 500 or 750 ppm as potassium dichromate, K2Cr2O7) through drinking water by female rats for 3 months prior to gestation was toxic to embryo and fetus. There was a significant reduction in number of implantations and number of fetuses and an increase in number of resorptions and pre-implantation and post-implantation losses. No significant visceral abnormality was found. The increase in the number of subdermal hemorrhagic patches on the thorax and abdomen was significant. Skeletal abnormality in the form of reduced ossification in parietal, interparietal and caudal bones was observed in fetuses. Chromium levels in the blood of mothers, placenta and fetuses showed a significant increase. Duration of the estrous cycle was also increased significantly. The study revealed that long-term chromium exposure in rats did not cause embryo and fetotoxicity in a duration-dependent manner compared to short-term treatment as observed earlier. A possible explanation could be that, in the 90-day study, the female rats did not mate for three estrous cycles, thus giving time for clearance of a sizable amount of chromium from their bodies.

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