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Transdermal exposure to Chrome-III oxide resulting in intoxicaitons and morbidity in two tanning workers—a case report

  • Jung Taek Park1,†
  • Kyoung Ho Choi1,*,†,

1Department of Emergency medicine, Uijeongbu St. Mary’s Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, 11765 Uijeongbu-si, Republic of Korea

DOI: 10.22514/sv.2024.033 Vol.20,Issue 3,March 2024 pp.97-101

Submitted: 08 February 2023 Accepted: 10 March 2023

Published: 08 March 2024

*Corresponding Author(s): Kyoung Ho Choi E-mail:

† These authors contributed equally.


Here, we report two cases of chrome-III oxide intoxications following transdermal exposure in tanning workers. A 58-year-old man (case 1) and his 41-year-old co-worker (case 2) were brought to our ED with unconsciousness six hours after accidental transdermal exposure to chrome-III oxide crystals (Tankrom® AB, Chrome-III oxide 25.5% and Schorlemmer Basicity 33%). Upon arrival, both patients presented with agitation and chemical burns affecting 11% (case 1) and 3% (case 2) of their total body surface area, respectively. Chemical burns were mainly distributed on injured skin. Initial arterial blood gas analysis revealed moderate (case 1, pH: 7.268) to mild acidosis (case 2, pH: 7.352). One of our patients (case 1) had significant respiratory depression. Laboratory results of case 1 and case 2 showed increased white blood cell counts, (16,630 mm3 and 19,950 mm3) and elevated blood glucose (178 mg/dL and 193 mg/dL), creatinine (1.33 mg/dL and 1.52 mg/dL), liver enzyme (aspartate aminotransferase/alanine aminotransferase of 416/322 U/L and 141/118 U/L) and creatine phosphokinase level (474 U/L and 566 U/L), respectively. Radiologic examinations revealed an orbital wall fracture and L2 compression fracture in case 1, while case 2 had a subdural hematoma, subarachnoid hemorrhage and scapular fracture and had to undergo an operation for external ventricular drainage. Both patients became alert on day three (case 1) and day six (case 2) and were discharged on day 27. We serially measured their serum and urinary chromium concentrations after hospital arrival. The calculated serum half-lives were 35.7 hours and 25.1 hours, and urinary half-lives were 2.3 hours and 2.5 hours in case 1 and case 2, respectively. We suggest that transdermal exposure to chrome-III oxide, especially to injured skin, may result in significant toxicity and morbidity. Therefore, it is essential to take necessary precautions and preventive measures to avoid transdermal exposure to chromium.


Chromium; Transdermal intoxication; Toxicokinetic

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Jung Taek Park,Kyoung Ho Choi. Transdermal exposure to Chrome-III oxide resulting in intoxicaitons and morbidity in two tanning workers—a case report. Signa Vitae. 2024. 20(3);97-101.


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