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Project: Chromium in leather and allergy

Chromium is the third most common metal that causes contact allergy. Contact allergy to chromium has increased among women. Chromium in leather is probably an important cause.

Reasons for release of chromium from leather shall be identified and quantified. The effect of tanning processes and post-treatments will be investigated. Gloves and shoes are used repeatedly, they are exposed to sunlight, wear, sweat, rain water and chemicals. How these factors influence chromium (tri- and hexavalent) release will be investigated under laboratory conditions. The results will be verified by clinical tests in individuals with chromium allergy. We will study which concentrations of tri- and hexavalent chromium that elicit eczema, and to what extent chromium releasing leather elicits eczema. The research will increase knowledge about chromium in leather, and contribute to risk assessment and measures to reduce the allergy risk.

Collaboration with Division of Surface and Corrosion Science, KTH.


  • Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (Forte)
  • Swedish Asthma and Allergy Association’s Research Foundation
  • KI research foundation
  • Faculty grant KTH
  • Carl Tryggers foundation and Jernkontoret (equipment)


Carola Lidén