The European Union has recently put forth a proposal aiming to prohibit the use of chrome plating materials starting from 2024, citing health-related concerns.
This move comes in response to the potential hazards associated with hexavalent chromium, a toxic chemical utilised in the production of chrome plating materials. Hexavalent chromium is a well-known carcinogen, posing significant risks to human health, surpassing diesel emissions’ toxicity by 500 times.
Furthermore, the production of hexavalent chromium leads to the release of carcinogens into the atmosphere, impacting both the environment and public health negatively. As of now, there is no known safe method to produce chrome-plated materials since all existing processes generate harmful exhaust fumes.
With the automotive industry heavily reliant on chrome plating in their high-volume markets, the proposed ban could have significant implications for future car designs. Chrome finishes have long been associated with providing vehicles with a luxurious appearance, making them a popular choice for car manufacturers.
In light of the EU’s proposal, Renault’s Chief Designer, Gilles Vidal, has expressed the need to explore alternative materials beyond chrome to create more sustainable solutions. As the ban looms, the industry may need to innovate and adopt new, safer materials to maintain the desired aesthetic appeal without compromising public health and environmental well-being.