The Division of Environmental Chemistry at the American Chemical Society national meeting has sponsored a symposium that highlights new strategies for remediating toxic forms of chromium. Hexavalent chromium increases the risk of some cancers and it can cause skin ulcers, has potential harmful impacts on kidney and liver. The trivalent form of chromium is an essential nutrient and is more benign than its hexavalent counterpart. A major strategy, as such, in chromium remediation is to make the conversion to trivalent chromium before the metal enters biological tissues. Everything from manure to microbes is being tested as potential reducing agents that can be placed directly, and ideally inexpensively, in contaminated soil. Several groups are evaluating zero-valent iron nanoparticles, to reduce chromium to its trivalent state in contaminated water. Diverse plants are being assessed for their ability to stockpile Cr(III) so that harvesters can incinerate the toxic crop.
Everts, S. (2007). Chromium cleanup.