Chromium permeation studies were performed on full thickness human skin in diffusion cells. All samples were analysed for the total chromium content by graphite furnace Zeeman-corrected atomic absorption spectrometry. Some samples were analysed by an ion chromatographic method permitting the simultaneous determination of Cr(VI) and Cr(III) as well. The amounts of chromium found in all skin layers were significantly higher when potassium dichromate was applied to the skin compared with chromium chloride or chromium nitrate. Chromium could only be detected in the recipient phase after application of the dichromate solution. Chromium skin levels increased with increasing concentrations of applied chromium salts up to 0.034 M Cr. The amount of chromium in recipient phase and skin layers increased with increasing pH when the applied solution contained potassium dichromate. This was ascribed to a decreased skin barrier function of the skin. The amount of chromium found in all skin layers after application of chromium chloride decreased with increasing pH due to lower solubility of the salt. The % of chromium found in the recipient phase as chromium(VI) increased with increasing total chromium concentration indicating a limited reduction ability of the skin in vitro.
Contact Dermatitis, 1992, Vol 27, Issue 5, p. 302-10