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Interdiscip Toxicol. 2016 Jun;9(2):55-65. doi: 10.1515/intox-2016-0007. Epub 2017 May 17.

Adverse hematological effects of hexavalent chromium: an overview.

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Postgraduate Department of Zoology, Bethune College, 181, Bidhan Sarani, Kolkata: 700 006, India.


Workers of tanneries, welding industries, factories manufacturing chromate containing paints are exposed to hexavalent chromium that increases the risk of developing serious adverse health effects. This review elucidates the mode of action of hexavalent chromium on blood and its adverse effects. Both leukocyte and erythrocyte counts of blood sharply decreased in Swiss mice after two weeks of intraperitoneal treatment with Cr (VI), with the erythrocytes transforming into echinocytes. The hexavalent chromium in the blood is readily reduced to trivalent form and the reductive capacity of erythrocytes is much greater than that of plasma. Excess Cr (VI), not reduced in plasma, may enter erythrocytes and lymphocytes and in rodents it induces microcytic anemia. The toxic effects of chromium (VI) include mitochondrial injury and DNA damage of blood cells that leads to carcinogenicity. Excess Cr (VI) increases cytosolic Ca2+ activity and ATP depletion thereby inducing eryptosis. Se, vitamin C, and quercetin are assumed to have some protective effect against hexavalent chromium induced hematological disorders.


haematological disorders; haemolytic anaemia, chromium in blood; hexavalent chromium

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