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How much harm of the chromium in the leather

2012.05.15   08:48

Since the exposed some pharmaceutical companys used capsules which contain too much chromium,The State Food and Drug Administration has issued an emergency notice to ban the sale and use of the 13 medicinal hollow capsules.

The reason why the capsule emerged the phenomenon of chromium over proof is that while the dirty enterprises producing the capsule,they used industrial gelatin capsule instead of the medicinal gelatin.Pigskin and cowhide in the qualified pharmaceutical gelatin is the fresh frozen skin,or leather without chrome tanning or harmful metal pollution.While the leftover material of the leather factory could only be used for the production of industrial gelatin.

Why we have to use chromium during the leather processing course and how much is the harm to human health?

It almost has to go through four couses’ diposing from animal skins into leather.The first one is pretreatment,remove the meat to made it antiseptic.Secondly is the preparatory stage, unhairing,degreasing.Thirdly,is tanned,finally is fix.Tanning stage cam help the leather become soft and durable.Tanning is a course which high valent cationic have a series of chemcal reactions with collagen.Since 1893,American Martin Denis (Martin Dennis) invented the chrome tanning method,about 90% of the world's leather take advantage of this method to tan.This is why the leather contain large amounts of chromium.

There are two main forms of chromium in nature.one kind is the trivalent chromium which used for tanning.It is a cation with three positive charges.Due to the mature technology,high cost-effective,it still ruled the leather and leather products industry.

Another kind of chromium form is the notorious hexavalent chromium.It holds oxygen atoms together to form atomic group, existed as the chromate form.hexavalent chromium have strong biological toxicity,carcinogenicity,acute toxicity dose is at 50-150 μg/kg.Even in the leather industry,everyone hates the hexavalent chromium.Each country has clear requirements to the hexavalent chromium’s content in the leather,the most stringent country is Germany,Germany new revised laws regulated that hexavalent chromium was forbiden to be found in leather detection.

Trivalent chromium toxicity is much smaller than hexavalent chromium,and has some physiological functions,so the trivalent chromium had been used as health products additives at once in western countries -- although the number of people who suffered diseases due to lack of chromium is little than people who had been seen the alien in the world,it is unnecessarey to replenlish the chromium.However,making full use of this point,High chrome gelatin(Which contains high Trivalent chromium as traits and the content is greater than 2mg/kg) in China is applied to become a patent successfully.In the patent definitely describe it can make use of the leftover material of the chrome leather in leather industry to produce high chrome gelatine,which can be regarded as additives in food and medicine.The patent also showed possible applications ranges of the high chromium gelatin,including:cotton candy,jelly, gelatin gel sugar,ice cream,yogurt,sugar,ham sausage,medicine gelatin pearl,capsules,wine and soy sauce or other products.Now, this patent can not used in the food,pharmaceutical industry obviously because the existing national edible gelatin technology standards (GB6783-94) specificly provided:the chromium content no more than 2mg/kg.

Industrial gelatin's problems were not only the chrome over proof.In the former leather disposing course,we might use the pentachlorophenol through leather preservative,use the sodium sulfuret in pretreatment process,use azo dyes during dyeing process,use formaldehyde in polishing process.So,in any case,we should not use idustrial gelatin in food and medicine.

Finally,it must be pointed out that,ensuring people's food safety and drug safety is the national regulatory departments’ responsibility.Now that the government has brought chrome element into ,they should be strictly regulated,prevent the risk in the source,and not make amends every time after the accident have been emerged already.

By Xu Xiyi

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