Toxno Substance Profile
Evidence-based data. We have more than 25,000 profiles on Toxno.
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Substance Name

Potassium dichromate
Identification Number: CASRN | 7778-50-9

  Substance Attributes


  • Carcinogenic Properties

    Accumulating evidence points to cancer potential. Exercise caution with this substance, explore your exposure routes and consider complete avoidance. See further details under Toxins.

  • Metabolic Interference or Disruption

    Interferes with human metabolism. This can be a very serious thing. Some of these interference mechanics are well established. However, often long term effects and health consequences remain largely unknown. Additionally an emerging area of concern and one that is not currently studied, is the combined synergistic effects these metabolically disrupting chemicals have on human health.


    Metabolic interference happens when the substance produces highly reactive and often damaging intermediates during detoxification or when the substance binds to specific enzymes, important structural groups on molecules, receptors and membranes or targets DNA or mimics key nutrients.

  • Exposure Produces Health Symptoms

    Symptoms maybe short term or long term depending on the exposure duration and intensity and effects areas like Cardiovascular, Gastrointestinal, Cognition, Fatigue. A substance with this attribute may cause an allergic skin reaction, serious eye irritation, allergy or asthma symptoms or breathing difficulties if inhaled.

  • Serious Acute Effects

    This is a serious nasty substance. Effects are Acute (seen immediately). Substances in this category may be FATAL or acutely toxic if inhaled, skin contact or swallowed. See further details.

  • Toxic to specific organs

    Can damage liver, kidney, lungs, heart or gut. Ironically liver, kidneys and gut are the main detoxifications systems.

  • Toxic to Wildlife

    May kill plants, fish, birds or other animals and insects or may be very toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects. This then effects delicate environmental ecology and food supply in ways we don't fully understand yet.

These attributes are ONLY based on peer-reviewed evidence. See link to Data Sources below. Everyone benefits from knowing this stuff. Please Share.



  • CATEGORIES: Chemical used in hydraulic fracturing fluids | Household Toxin | Industrial/Workplace Toxin | Pollutant | Airborne Pollutant | Synthetic Toxin | Indirect Additives Used in Food Contact Substances | A Hazardous Substance that may be found in the Australian Workplace
  • SUBSTANCE LINEAGE: Inorganic Compounds | Mixed Metal/Non-metal Compounds | Miscellaneous Mixed Metal/Non-metals | Miscellaneous Metallic Oxoanionic Compounds | Miscellaneous Chromates
  • SYNONYMS: Bichromate of potash | Bichromate potassium | Chromium potassium oxide | Dichromate potassium | Dichromic acid dipotassium salt | Dipotassium bichromate | Dipotassium dichromate | Dipotassium dichromium heptaoxide | Iopezite | K bichromate | Potassium bichromate | Potassium dichromate solution | Potassium dichromic acid
  • DESCRIPTION: Has been used in CSG, Hydraulic Fracturing Operations (Fracking) as - Unknown | Potassium dichromate is a chemical compound of potassium and hexavalent chromium. It is a common inorganic chemical reagent and is also used in photography and wood treatment. It is found naturally as the mineral lopezite. Hexavalent chromium refers to chemical compounds that contain the element chromium in the +6 oxidation state. Chromium(VI) is more toxic than other oxidation states of the chromium atom because of its greater ability to enter cells and higher redox potential. (L16, L55)
  • COMMENTS:

    From Safe Work Australia and the Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS) in Australia:

    May intensify fire; oxidiser. May cause cancer. May cause genetic defects. May damage fertility. May damage the unborn child. Fatal if inhaled. Toxic if swallowed. Causes damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure . Harmful in contact with skin. Causes severe skin burns and eye damage. May cause allergy or asthma symptoms or breathing difficulties if inhaled. May cause an allergic skin reaction. Very toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects | Chronic Health Hazard Environmental Hazard Acutely Toxic | A Hazardous Substance that may be found in the Australian Workplace. Check with your employer or health and safety officer. Stay informed and become aware of the dangers that surround you. This chemical is included on the list of recognised hazardous chemicals from the Safe Work Australia - Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS) that is based on the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)

    Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations are the basis for hazardous chemicals regulations in Commonwealth, State and Territory jurisdictions in Australia. Under the model WHS Regulations, manufacturers and importers of substances, mixtures and articles supplied for use in workplaces are required to determine whether they are hazardous to health and safety before supply. The model WHS Regulations mandate that the hazards of a chemical as determined by the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) must be included in safety data sheets and on labels. There are transitional arrangements in place for moving to the GHS-based system.

    The GHS Hazardous Chemical Information List contains chemicals classified by an authoritative source (such as the European Commission or NICNAS) in accordance with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (the GHS). This list contains the vast majority of chemicals currently in HSIS. This list and its detail are regularly updated by Work Safe Australia. The model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations require chemicals to be classified in accordance with the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). However transitional arrangements allow use of classification information in HSIS derived from the Approved Criteria until the 31 December 2016.
  • toxin chemical structure pubchem
  • FORMULA: Cr2K2O7
  • DATA SOURCES: DATA SOURCES: ARTICLE 4 | T3DB | PubChem | EPA in USA | FDA Indirect Food Additives | Safe Work Australia - Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS)
  • LAST UPDATE: 28/04/2018

  Health Associations

Mostly focused on Health Implications of Long Term Exposure to this substance

  • SYMPTOMS: Breathing hexavalent chromium can cause irritation to the lining of the nose, nose ulcers, runny nose, and breathing problems, such as asthma, cough, shortness of breath, or wheezing. Ingestion of hexavalent chromium causes irritation and ulcers in the stomach and small intestine, as well as anemia. Skin contact can cause skin ulcers. (L16)
  • POSSIBLE HEALTH CONSEQUENCES: Hexavalent chromium is a known carcinogen. Chronic inhalation especially has been linked to lung cancer. Hexavalent chromium has also been know to cause reproductive and developmental defects. (A12) | Chromium is absorbed from oral, inhalation, or dermal exposure and distributes to nearly all tissues, with the highest concentrations found in kidney and liver. Bone is also a major storage site and may contribute to long-term retention. Hexavalent chromium's similarity to sulfate and chromate allow it to be transported into cells via sulfate transport mechanisms. Inside the cell, hexavalent chromium is reduced first to pentavalent chromium, then to trivalent chromium by many substances including ascorbate, glutathione, and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide. Chromium is almost entirely excreted with the urine. (A12, L16)
  • ACTION OF TOXIN: Hexavalent chromium's carcinogenic effects are caused by its metabolites, pentavalent and trivalent chromium. The DNA damage may be caused by hydroxyl radicals produced during reoxidation of pentavalent chromium by hydrogen peroxide molecules present in the cell. Trivalent chromium may also form complexes with peptides, proteins, and DNA, resulting in DNA-protein crosslinks, DNA strand breaks, DNA-DNA interstrand crosslinks, chromium-DNA adducts, chromosomal aberrations and alterations in cellular signaling pathways. It has been shown to induce carcinogenesis by overstimulating cellular regulatory pathways and increasing peroxide levels by activating certain mitogen-activated protein kinases. It can also cause transcriptional repression by cross-linking histone deacetylase 1-DNA methyltransferase 1 complexes to CYP1A1 promoter chromatin, inhibiting histone modification. Chromium may increase its own toxicity by modifying metal regulatory transcription factor 1, causing the inhibition of zinc-induced metallothionein transcription. (A12, L16, A34, A35, A36) | Trivalent chromium may also form complexes with peptides, proteins, and DNA, resulting in DNA-protein crosslinks, DNA strand breaks, DNA-DNA interstrand crosslinks, chromium-DNA adducts, chromosomal aberrations and alterations in cellular signaling pathways. (L16)
  • TOXIN SITES OF ACTION IN CELL: "Cytoplasm", "Extracellular"
  • Additional Exposure Routes: Potassium dichromate is a common inorganic chemical reagent and is also used in photography and wood treatment. (L55)

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  Exposure Routes

These are the Exposure Routes we have so far for this substance. There are almost certainly more. We update this section regularly. The number of chemicals with 2 or more nastiness attributes in an exposure route is shown in orange. They grey badge shows the total amount of chemicals within the exposure route.


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