Possible alternatives for chromium trioxide as an etching agent for sanitary materials

One of the goals of the European REACH regulation is the progressive replacement of substances of very high concern (e.g. carcinogens) by safer alternatives. Companies that use these substances, actively search for safer alternatives (less dangerous substances, new technologies and processes), and report about these alternatives. Below you will find the information on possible alternatives for chromium trioxide, included in the different applications for authorisation received so far by ECHA. To obtain further details, please follow the link to the full dossier. Below you can find possible alternatives for chromium trioxide as an etching agent for sanitary materials. All alternatives refer to the chromium trioxide described below.

Chromium trioxide

  • EC-number: 215-607-8
  • CAS-number: 1333-82-0
  • Use: Etching of plastics with chromium trioxide as pre-treatment step for electroplating processes
  • Technical function: Etching agent

Most promising alternative:

  • Potassium permanganate based etching solution

Other Alternatives: Different (groups of) companies have researched possible alternatives to replace chromium trioxide. Even if these alternatives may not have been chosen for their particular case, they may still be an appropriate option for other cases.

  • Mineral acid based etching solutions
  • Alternative substrate: Polyamide
  • Conductive lacquer
  • Plasma etching
  • Process based on depositing a metal layer from an ionic permanganate solution
  • Potassium permanganate for Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) substrates and methane sulfonic acid for Polyamide substrates

More detailed information

All research efforts by companies have been documented in reports. The following ECHA-dossiers are available about possible alternatives for chromium trioxide as a plating agent for sanitary materials:

Factsheet Chromium VI

For more general information about the risks of Chromium VI and measures to take to prevent exposure, please have a look at the factsheet Chromium VI (available in many EU-languages).

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  • Chromium
Sector / branche
  • Construction
Solution types
  • 1. S – Substitution