Chromium Isotopes and the Fate of Hexavalent Chromium in the Environment

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Science  15 Mar 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5562, pp. 2060-2062
DOI: 10.1126/science.1068368

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Measurements of chromium (Cr) stable-isotope fractionation in laboratory experiments and natural waters show that lighter isotopes reacted preferentially during Cr(VI) reduction by magnetite and sediments. The 53Cr/52Cr ratio of the product was 3.4 ± 0.1 per mil less than that of the reactant.53Cr/52Cr shifts in water samples indicate the extent of reduction, a critical process that renders toxic Cr(VI) in the environment immobile and less toxic.

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