Currently reading: Chrome plating set to be banned over cancer concern
Production emissions said to be 500 times more toxic than diesel as ban proposed for 2024

Chrome plating is set to be banned, potentially forcing car makers to rethink one of the most exploited materials for giving cars a premium look.

The ban has been proposed as a result of health issues associated with the creation of hexavalent chromium, which is a known carcinogen. In particular, it is a source of chronic lung cancer, with the airborne emissions given off during the plating process said to be 500 times more toxic than diesel.

Chemical fume depressants can reduce these emissions, but contain Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS), another highly toxic substance.

The EU has proposed a ban from 2024, with other parts of the world - most notably California - following suit. As both are high volume car markets, it is expected to impact substantially on car design unless an alternative material with the same qualities is identified.

As well as giving a silvery finish to car parts, chrome has been widely used in everyday homelife including kitchen sinks, light fittings and on components that are required to be rust resistant, such as landing gear on aeroplanes and fishing tackle.

However, Gilles Vidal, chief designer at Renault, said that even if alternatives are found, he hopes that new materials will be explored.

“There are non-polluting solutions being investigated, but I hope there are reasons we can intuitively get away from it,” he said. “It’s time we changed the game a little bit and opened our minds beyond chrome, there are more sustainable alternatives.” He highlighted Renault’s use of slate and cork finishes as examples, as well as 60% recycled Alcantara.

John Neville

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sidevalve 25 July 2023
Surely, most or all 'chrome' on cars has been plastic since before the turn of the century. That is also a plating process though, and I am not clear if that is also included in the ban
Dozza 23 July 2023

All this fuss about chrome, petrol, diesel but it seems perfectly of to force children to mine minerals for so called 'eco friendly' electric cars. We are all being played here folks. 

jason_recliner 23 July 2023

Cool story, bro!

The Apprentice 22 July 2023
The London mayor is already asking his technical team if the ULEZ cameras could be programmed to measure the Chrome on vehicles for an additional charge on that. The science proves that Chrome causes 6000 deaths in the capital each year, probably, maybe, well it could. But consultation has revealed that taxed Chrome is far less toxic than untaxed Chrome.
KeithS 27 July 2023

Worryingly you speak in jest, and it gives them ideas!