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Potassium dichromate is one of the most common culprits in causing chromium dermatitis. Chromium is highly likely to induce sensitization leading to dermatitis, especially of the hand and fore-arms, which is chronic and difficult to treat. As with other CrVI products, potassium dichromate is carcinogenic and should be handled with gloves and appropriate health and safety protection. However, Potassium dichromate is one of the key ingredients in the migraine over-the-counter medication called Headon.
In the effects of this drug are combined the action of potassium with those of the acid radical of chromic acid. The former are manifested by depression of the central nervous system, and of all kinds of muscle, including the heart muscle which becomes weakened; fall of blood pressure and slowing of the pulse.
The effect of the acid radical is to cause diarrhea, vomiting, hematuria, congestion of the intestinal tract, nephritis and ulceration. Chronic poisoning by Kali bichromicum is evidenced by ulcerations in the nose and skin. The cartilaginous septum becomes involved, leading to perforation. This condition is usually painless. Perforating ulcers appear upon the skin, especially if any abrasions of this tissue precede exposure to the poison. Ulcerations also appear in the stomach; these have occurred in man and may be experimentally produced in laboratory animals. A chronic inflammation of larynx and pharynx is a prominent symptom. The patient develops a cough and the expectorated material becomes stringy in character, and, owing to the local paralysis of the muscles, is raised with difficulty. No rise in temperature is produced by this drug; its general action corresponds to those diseases which are essentially chronic in character and in which ulcerative conditions of mucous membranes are prominent symptoms. Such diseases as diphtheria, sub - acute bronchitis, chronic nasal and gastric catarrh, especially if associated with ulceration and the chronic gastritis produced by alcohol, are duplicated by the effects of Kali bichromicum. There is a close resemblance between the effects of the drug and certain forms of chronic syphilis.
(Rabe's Medical Therapeutics)
Mikrobiol Z. 2005 Mar-Apr;67(2):30-8.
[Mechanism of antimutagenic activity of Pseudomonas syringae lipopolysaccharides]
The antimutagenic activity of lipopolysaccharides of phytopathogenic bacteria,which are the agents of grain crops diseases, has been investigated using bacterial test-system with Salmonella typhimurium. It has been established that the greatest antimutagen activity of Pseudomonas syringae pv. atrofaciens and P. syringae pv. coronafaciens lipopolysaccharides was,if they and bichromate potassium be simultaneously added to cells test-strains of S. typhimurium. They decreased to a less degree quantity of His+ -revertants in S. typhimurium cells pretreated by potassium bichromate. Li popolysaccharides of pathovars of P. syringae do not increase test-strain cells resistance to mutagenic effect of potassium bichromate under pretreatment of S. typhimurium by them.
G Ital Med Lav Ergon. 1999 Jan-Mar;21(1):40-5.
[Epicutaneous sensitization to metals and contact allergic dermatitis: analysis of an ambulatory caseload]
Candura SM, Verni P, Dellabianca A, Biale C, Perfetti L, Calcagno G, Pisati A, Moscato G.
Dipartimento di Medicina Preventiva, Occupazionale e di Comunita, Universita di Pavia.
We have retrospectively analyzed the clinical and anamnestic features of 233 out-patients (197 females and 36 males; mean age: 33 years; SD: +/- 13.3) with epicutaneous sensitization to metals, who had been examined at the department of allergology of our institution during one year. Among females, nickel sulphate was the metallic salt which most frequently resulted positive at patch testing (87.8% of cases), followed by cobalt chloride (23.6%) and potassium bichromate (10.2%). Nickel was the most common sensitizing metal also in males (58.3%), among whom sensitization to chromate resulted second in order of frequency (30.6%), and sensitization to cobalt was relatively rare (11.1%). In selected cases, the utilization of additional, specific series allowed to document rare cases of sensitization to metallic salts not included in the standard patch test series (copper sulphate, cadmium chloride, zinc stearate, phenylmercuric nitrate). 78 patients were sensitized to more than one metal. Skin sensitivity to metals was often linked to allergic disease familiarity and/or to sensitization toward type I allergens. Allergic contact dermatitis was diagnosed in 80 patients: cutaneous manifestations had been present on average for over four years, sometimes in generalized or persistent form. An occupational contact with the causative metals was identified in 15 cases. However, the occupational origin of the disease could never be documented with certainty, due to concomitance of frequent non-occupational exposures and to lack of information on pre-employment skin sensitivity status. Thus, the value of patch testing, during both pre-employment screening and health surveillance, is emphasized.
S Afr Med J. 1990 Jun 16;77(12):640-2.
Acute dichromate poisoning after use of traditional purgatives. A report of 7 cases.
Wood R, Mills PB, Knobel GJ, Hurlow WE, Stokol JM.
Department of Medicine, University of Cape Town.
Seven cases of dichromate poisoning after the use of purgative solutions obtained from nyanga (traditional township healers) are reported. The patients all presented in established renal failure requiring dialysis, and all had abnormal liver function tests. One patient who took dichromate orally died from massive gastro-intestinal haemorrhage. Six patients took dichromate solutions as rectal enemas, 2 were left with impaired renal function and 1 required a permanent colostomy as a result of extensive peri-anal necrosis. The clinical presentation of acute renal failure, gastro-intestinal haemorrhage and hepatocellular dysfunction should alert the physician to the possibility of dichromate poisoning. The diagnosis, management and the role of dialysis in dichromate poisoning are reviewed.
Hum Exp Toxicol. 2005 Dec;24(12):631-8.
Effect of potassium dichromate on renal brush border membrane enzymes and phosphate transport in rats.
Fatima S, Arivarasu NA, Banday AA, Yusufi AN, Mahmood R.
Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Life Sciences, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh 202002, U.P., India.
Chromium is widely used in industry but exposure to chromium compounds in the workplace can result in nephrotoxicity. Various nephrotoxicants affect the brush border membrane (BBM) lining the epithelial cells of the proximal tubule, but there have been no studies regarding the effect of potassium dichromate (K2Cr2O7), a hexavalent chromium compound, on renal BBM. In the present work, the effect of administering a single intraperitoneal dose (15 mg/kg body weight) of K2Cr2O7 on rat renal BBM enzymes and inorganic phosphate (Pi) transport was studied. The animals were administered normal saline (control) or K2Cr2O7 and sacrificed 1, 2, 4 and 8 days after treatment. K2Cr2O7 induced reversible damage to the rat kidney function as indicated by serum creatinine (Scr) and urea nitrogen levels. The activities of BBM marker enzymes were significantly decreased in isolated BBM vesicles (BBMV) and homogenates of cortex and medulla on 1, 2 and 4 days after administration of K2Cr2O7 with complete recovery to control values after 8 days. The decrease in the activities of the enzymes was mainly due to changes in maximum velocity (V(max)) values, while the Michaelis constant (Km) remained unchanged. The sodium dependent Pi transport across BBMV was reduced by 50% after treatment with K2Cr2O7. Thus, the administration of a single dose of K2Cr2O7 leads to impairment in the functions of renal BBM. These results suggest that the nephrotoxicity of K2Cr2O7 may be mediated, at least in part, by its effect on renal BBM.
Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2006 Jan 10;:1-4
Occupational asthma due to chromium and nickel salts.
Fernandez-Nieto M, Quirce S, Carnes J, Sastre J.
Department of Allergy, Fundacion Jimenez Diaz, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Av. Reyes Catolicos, 2, 28040, Madrid, Spain, email@example.com.
Background: Exposure to chromium and nickel salts is a poorly characterized cause of occupational asthma. Methods: We describe four patients with work-related asthma due to metallic salts. Skin-prick tests to potassium dichromate and nickel sulfate were performed. The patients underwent methacholine inhalation tests and specific inhalation challenges (SIC) with both chromium and nickel salts. Results: Two patients showed positive skin-prick tests to potassium dichromate and nickel sulfate. All patients had bronchial hyperresponsiveness to methacholine, which increased 24 h after SIC with metallic salts. SIC with potassium dichromate elicited late asthmatic reactions (LAR) in two workers, one subject had an early asthmatic reaction (EAR), and another subject showed a dual asthmatic reaction (DAR). SIC with nickel sulfate induced a DAR in one subject and a late asthmatic reaction in another. Conclusions: Chromium and nickel salts can give rise to occupational asthma in exposed workers. The underlying mechanism may be IgE-mediated in some cases.
Reprod Toxicol. 2005 Oct 21;
Ameliorating effect of folic acid on chromium(VI)-induced changes in reproductive performance and seminal plasma biochemistry in male rabbits.
Yousef MI, El-Demerdash FM, Kamil KI, Elaswad FA.
Department of Environmental Studies, Institute of Graduate Studies and Research, University of Alexandria, 163, Horreya Avenue, P.O. Box 832, Alexandria 21526, Egypt.
Chromium hexavalent (Cr(VI)) is a biologically active oxidized state of chromium. It is involved in the redox cycle, with the production of reactive oxygen species. Free radical scavenging properties and possible antioxidant activity of folic acid (FA) have been reported; therefore, the present study examined possible protective effects of FA on the reproductive toxicity of potassium dichromate (K(2)Cr(2)O(7)) in male New Zealand white rabbits. We monitored reproductive performance, lipid peroxidation, enzyme activities and biochemical parameters in seminal plasma. Six rabbits per treatment group (and a control group) were exposed: 8.3mug/kg FA; 5mg/kg potassium dichromate (contains 3.6mg chromium(VI)) and 5mg/kg potassium dichromate+8.3mug/kg FA. Results showed that semen quality deteriorated following potassium dichromate exposure. Testosterone levels, body weight (BW), relative weights of testes (RTW) and epididymis (REW) all decreased. Levels of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances increased, whereas the activities of glutathione S-transferase, transaminases and phosphatases decreased in the seminal plasma. FA alone significantly increased BW, RTW, REW, semen characteristics and seminal plasma enzymes, and decreased the levels of free radicals. Furthermore, FA can be effective in the protection of chromium-induced reproductive toxicity.