Chemical Fume Suppressants for use in Chrome Plating Facility Operations

This page last reviewed September 21, 2016


Chrome plating facilities are subject to California’s Hexavalent Chromium Airborne Toxic Control Measure for Chrome Plating and Chromic Acid Anodizing Operations (Chrome ATCM).  Facilities located in the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) are subject to Rule 1469.  Many of California’s facilities are required to use a certified fume suppressant to meet hexavalent chrome emission limits.  California maintains a list of approved fume suppressants which have undergone testing to meet hexavalent chromium emission standards. 

The United States Environmental Protection Agency National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants – Hard and Decorative Chromium Electroplating and Chromium Anodizing Tanks (40 C.F.R. Part 63, Subpart N (commencing with 63.340), 77 Fed. Reg. 58219 (September 19, 2012)) (U.S. EPA’s Chrome NESHAP) sets a ban on the use of perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) in fume suppressants, effective September 21, 2015.  As of this date, only fume suppressants containing PFOS had been certified in California; therefore, in September 2015 California facilities were granted a one-year extension to continue to use PFOS-based fume suppressants.

Since September 2016, five non-PFOS fume suppressants were approved for specified chrome plate operations (three products for decorative operations and chromic acid anodizing, and two products for hard chrome plating).  These products have been added to the list of approved fume suppressants.  Facilities subject to the Chrome ATCM can start using non-PFOS in their operations.  However, as required by U.S. EPA’s Chrome NESHAP, and the one-year extension for California facilities, chemical fume suppressants containing PFOS cannot be used after September 21, 2016.  Additional testing of non-PFOS chemical fume suppressants is underway and additional products will be added to the list as they become certified.

If you have questions regarding chrome plating operations outside of the SCAQMD please contact Ms. Michelle Komlenic, Air Pollution Specialist (916) 322-3926 or via email at michelle.komlenic@arb.ca.gov.  Facilities located in the SCAQMD should contact to Mitch Haimov, Senior Air Quality Engineering Manager (909) 396-3129 or via email at mhaimov@aqmd.gov for information specific to their fume suppressant requirements.


For more information, please contact Michelle Komlenic.


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