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Metal Finishing Sector

Metal finishing consists of various chemical and physical processes which change the surface of a product to enhance its appearance (decorative), increase its corrosion resistance or produce surface characteristics essential for subsequent operations (functional). Representative operations involved in the Metal Finishing Industry (MFI) include electroless plating, chemical conversion coating, acid anodizing and electroplating. These processes are often preceded by cleaning operations which may involve solvents and followed by rinsing operations. Metal finishing is a key process in many manufacturing industries since it has a profound effect on the appearance and/or functioning of the final product. Metal finishing processes produce a variety of waste streams, which include effluents, spent process solutions, wastewater treatment sludges and air emissions. Waste streams from processes using cadmium, chromium and nickel compounds will contain, to varying degrees, these substances. The potential release of these CEPA toxic substances into the environment as a result of inadequate treatment or poor enforcement of regulations is a potential area of concern. The potential release of uncontrolled hexavalent chromium emission from the MFI is of particular concern because hexavalent chromium compounds are potent human carcinogens

Substance(s) Managed Under this Source

Strategic Options Report

Click on the following link to view strategies and actions recommended to manage risks associated with releases:

  • Strategic Options for the Management of Toxic Substances from the Metal Finishing Industry (available upon request)

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