The search for a suitable replacement to hard chrome on aerospace components has been a key supply chain priority for aircraft manufacturers. This is because of the documented health risks to workers and the impact on the environment from exposure to hexavalent chromium, a carcinogen that occurs during the chrome plating process and the most toxic form of chromium.
As a result, chromium is a highly regulated chemical in major markets worldwide. In the European Union, hexavalent chromium falls under the domain of the EU regulation, REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals), which establishes guidelines for the safe use of chemicals throughout the supply chain. Chromium is also closely regulated in the United States by OSHA.