China to destroy unsafe drug capsules

  • 254 pharmaceutical enterprises (~ 12%) of all capsule makers in China were discovered to be producing unsafe drug capsules.
  • 5.8 % were found to contain excessive levels of chromium, of the 11,561 batches of drugs tested.
  • China’s food and drug watchdog ordered substandard drugs to be immediately taken off shelves, sealed, recalled and destroyed.

Hazards of chromium :

  • Rashes on skin
  • Stomach problems and ulcers
  • Respiratory problems
  • Weakens immune systems
  • Kidney and liver damage
  • Changes in genetic material
  • Lung cancer
  • Death

Is every form of chromium is toxic to human beings?

No. Actually Chromium(III) which occurs naturally in many vegetables, fruits, meats, yeasts and grains is consumed by us, hence it is not the the pernicious form. Rather it is an essential component and its shortage may cause heart conditions, disruptions of metabolisms and diabetes. But too much intake is not good. Chromium can be toxic and carcinogenic if ingested in large amounts.

Toxic forms of Chromium

  • Chromium(IV)
  • Chromium(VI)

Some Applications

  • Metallurgy
  • Dye and pigment
  • Wood preservative
  • Tanning
  • Refractory material
  • Catalyst (Several chromium compounds are used as catalysts for processing hydrocarbons.)
  • Chromium(III) oxide is a metal polish known as green rouge.
  • Chromic acid is a powerful oxidizing agent and is a useful compound for cleaning laboratory glassware of any trace of organic compounds.

Biological role

  • No verified biological role
  • Classified as not essential for mammals.
  • Use of dietary supplements (containing Chromium) is disputed on account of absence of any verified biological role, the expense of these supplements, and the complex effects of their use.

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