On March 17, 2009, the German government has proposed an amendment to consumer product regulations that requires the removal of hexavalent chromium compounds in leather products that come into contact with human skin, such as leather gloves. The amendment will also expand the scope of products covered to include leather toys. The above-mentioned products entering the German market in the future must ensure that the hexavalent chromium residue is below the limit standard.
This German consumer product regulation stated that about 80% of the world’s leather is contaminated by chromium salts. However, the problem of hexavalent chromium contamination in consumer products can be solved through appropriate technical operations and the selection of alternative products. It is understood that exposure to hexavalent chromium can cause eczema allergic reactions, and frequent exposure can also lead to contact dermatitis. Clinical data on protective gloves indicate that hexavalent chromium concentrations above 5 mg/kg in leather gloves can cause pain and dermatitis.