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Associated topic: Heavy metals

Emissions monitoring period: since 1990

Data source: CITEPA / SECTEN format - April 2017


Source of the pollutant

Chromium (Cr) is mainly released by electrically-powered steel mills and cast-iron foundries, and by some glass manufacturing plants.

Chromium is found in small amounts in the natural environment, in all types of rock and soil. It can be released into the atmosphere in dust particles and into surface waters in runoff or through rock weathering and erosion.


Effect of the pollutant

Hexavalent chromium (Cr6+) is the most dangerous to health. Its acute effects can cause irritation of the mucous membranes in the respiratory tract, while its chronic effects can damage the respiratory system and even cause lung cancer.

Heavy metals can be toxic for the biosphere. Most being under particulate shape, they accumulate in the water, the grounds, the food and the air.


Classification of sub-sectors* with the highest emission levels in 2015

Classification Sub-sectors Share of sub-sector in total national emissions in mainland France
1 Residential sector 28%
2 Ferrous metals production 28%
3 Non-metallic minerals, building materials 10%
4 District heating 5.5%
5 Diesel-fuelled passenger cars 4.9%

*: one sector out of six (energy transformation, manufacturing industry, residential/tertiary, agriculture/forestry, road transport and other transport) is broken down into sub-sectors.


Emissions and trends

Minimum observed: 20 t in 2014
Maximum observed: 393 t in 1990
Emissions in 2015: 20 t
Trends 2015/1990: -94.9%
Trends 2015/maximum: -94.9%
Trends 2015/minimum: +0.1%

Measurement unit: t (tonne)
Source CITEPA / SECTEN format – April 2017

Graph Cr 17

Graph Legende sans UTCFv2

 Source CITEPA / SECTEN format – April 2017

Tab Cr 17

(*) Following UNECE/NEC definitions : emissions classified "except total" are not included, i.e. emissions from international maritime, emissions from domestic and international air transport cruise (≥ 1000 m), emissions from agriculture and forestry biogenic sources and emissions from non-anthropogenic sources.
(e) preliminary estimate



The lowest level in chromium (Cr) emissions recorded during the survey period were in 2014 and 2015. All the sectors covered released Cr, with one contributing... (to read more, consult the SECTEN report online via your login and password)


Data source: CITEPA / SECTEN format - April 2017