EU set to ban chrome plating from 2024 over cancer concern

Production emissions said to be 500 times more toxic than diesel as ban proposed for 2024

By Felix Page, Autocar UK calendar 20 Jul 2023 Views icon3400 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

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.

New Skoda Kodiaq sketches released a week before world premiere

auther Autocar Pro News Desk calendar28 Sep 2023

Exterior sketches showcase the new Kodiaq’s distinctive look and new design features; key highlights include a sculptura...

Mercedes-Benz first carmaker to offer SAE Level 3 system for US market

auther Autocar Pro News Desk calendar28 Sep 2023

Becomes first automaker to receive U.S. state approval for deployment of a SAE Level 3 conditionally automated driving v...

Audi Ingolstadt to begin net carbon-neutral production in January 2024       

auther Autocar Pro News Desk calendar28 Sep 2023

Production of the upcoming fully electric Audi Q6 e-tron series, as well as all other vehicles built at the site, will b...