Chromium metals and hexavalent chromium are known health hazards monitored in workplace environments. Occupational health professionals use polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in disc filters to monitor total chromium present in a workplace. If chromium background is present in the filters, the interpretation of the results can be problematic. Current analytical analysis methods can't discern environmentally harvested chromium materials from chromium that is present as a result of manufacturing byproducts in the filters. A need exists for a non-destructive method of removing the background concentration of chromium metals and hexavalent chromium that is present in the PVC filters.
This method uses hydrogen peroxide and heat to remove the background concentration of chromium from the filters, permitting more accurate measurements of hexavalent and total chromium present in workplace environments. The process also can be used to remove chromium during the PVC polymer manufacturing process.
The process involves immersing the PVC filters in a concentrated hydrogen peroxide solution at elevated temperatures, followed by rinsing with deionized water. Removing the background concentration of chromium from the filters allows for more accurate measurements of the amount of hexavalent and total chromium present in workplace environments.