ASTM D5257 - 11

    Standard Test Method for Dissolved Hexavalent Chromium in Water by Ion Chromatography

    Active Standard ASTM D5257 | Developed by Subcommittee: D19.05

    Book of Standards Volume: 11.01


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    Significance and Use

    Hexavalent chromium salts are used extensively in the metal finishing and plating industries, in the leather industry as a tanning agent, and in the manufacture of paints, dyes, explosives, and ceramics. Trivalent chromium salts are used as mordants in textile dying, in the ceramic and glass industry, and in photography. Chromium, in either oxidation state, may be present in wastewater from these industries and may also be discharged from chromate-treated cooling waters.

    Hexavalent chromium is toxic to humans, animals, and aquatic life. It can produce lung tumors when inhaled and readily induces skin sensitization. It is not known whether cancer will result from ingestion of chromium in any of its valence states.

    Ion chromatography provides a means of separating the hexavalent chromium from other species present in the sample, many of which interfere with other detection methods. The combination of this separation with a sensitive colorimetric detection method provides a selective and sensitive analytical method for hexavalent chromium with minimal sample preparation.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers procedures for the determination of dissolved hexavalent chromium in wastewater, surface water, and drinking water.

    1.2 The precision and bias of this test method has been tested in reagent water and industrial wastewater and has been found suitable over the range of approximately 1 to 1000 μg/L. See Table 1 for details. Higher levels can be determined by appropriate dilution.

    1.3 Samples containing very high levels of anionic species (that is, chloride, sulfate, etc.) may cause column overload. Samples containing high levels of reducing species (that is, sulfides, sulfites, etc.) may cause reduction of Cr(VI) to Cr(III). This can be minimized by buffering the sample to a pH of 9 to 9.5, filtering it, storing it at <6°C. aA holding time of 28 days may be used if the user can demonstrate that such holding time does not affect sample integrity per US EPA 40 CFR 136 Part II.

    1.4 The values stated in either SI or inch-pound units are to be regarded as the standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only.

    1.5 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D1066 Practice for Sampling Steam

    D1129 Terminology Relating to Water

    D1193 Specification for Reagent Water

    D2777 Practice for Determination of Precision and Bias of Applicable Test Methods of Committee D19 on Water

    D3370 Practices for Sampling Water from Closed Conduits

    D5810 Guide for Spiking into Aqueous Samples

    D5847 Practice for Writing Quality Control Specifications for Standard Test Methods for Water Analysis


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 71.060.50 (Salts)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    DOI: 10.1520/D5257-11

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