In the US, the principal environmental regulations are those issued by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) which oversees workplace safety and health, and by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) which is responsible for health and the environment. In addition to the federal agencies, some states issue their own rules – notably California.
OSHA Cr6+ PEL – A newly enacted OSHA rule severely curbs the use of industrial processes that could expose workers to hexavalent chromium (Cr6+) air emissions. This affects many operations involved in making a wide variety of products.
Other OSHA – Other OSHA rules regulate worker exposure to trivalent chromium (Cr3+) and cadmium.
EPA Cr6+ Clean Air – Industrial emissions of Cr6+ into the outside air are controlled by the EPA. This rule has had a major effect on hard and decorative chrome plating and chromic acid anodizing.
Other EPA – The EPA also regulates water and the disposal of hazardous waste, which again impacts hard chrome plating. Nickel is a likely future addition to the list of regulated air pollutants.
California – By far the most active US state in the environmental area, California has rules governing chrome plating, chromic acid anodizing, thermal spray processes, automotive coatings, and electrical and electronic products.