Post by Bettina Hel » Mon, 17 Oct 1994 05:14:00

SR>From: Sara Riley
SR>I read Tod's response to the "toxicity" post from Bettina, but have
SR>not seen the original.  would either or both of you mind explaining
SR>why you think it might be toxic, and in what doses?  I have taken a
SR>supplement for a year or so now (one of the ones you can buy at GNC
SR>or such) and I have not heard anything about possible toxicity.

No, the people producing and selling the supplements *wouldn't* mention
this issue, except possibly in very fine print on a package insert that
would probably be thrown away unread. Chromium is one of those elements
that are necessary to the human diet *in extremely small trace amounts*,
but are dangerous in concentrations above those amounts. (Arsenic is the
classic example of such elements - and yes, arsenic was once produced,
sold, and consumed as a *beauty product*!)

Taking *any* supplement in significant quantities is a risky business:
there have been well-documented instances of lethal cases of Vitamin A
poisoning. *Don't* mess around with dietary supplements, especially
those containing substances known to be toxic, without professional
medical advice...preferably that of a licensed and reputable
nutritionist or pharmacist (pharmacists almost always know more than MDs
about the side effects and possible interactions of the *** the MDs
prescribe - they have to, it's part of their specialty).

SR>Also, what are the symptoms, if you know?

Just for starters, chromium is a *carcinogen* (i.e., it can cause
cancer). It can also cause birth defects and is suspected of inducing
other mutations. Ingestion of excess amounts can cause gastroenteritis
(diarrhea/vomiting/painful belly cramps), vertigo (severe dizziness),
muscle cramps, and kidney damage.

How do I know all this? I'm an artist. *All* pigments containing
chromium are considered "Hazardous Substances", and most reputable
colormakers put warning labels on these pigments. Chromate pigments
(chromium orange, chromium yellow) are considered *extremely* hazardous,
and artists who bother to read up on possibly-dangerous art materials
are *strongly* advised to use less dangerous substitutes. Even the
chromic oxide colors (Chromium Oxide Green, Viridian) are not considered
completely safe, though they contain mere trace amounts of chromium.
There are other *** things in art materials, too, such as lead,
cadmium, strontium, barium, mercury, cobalt, etc.  For a really
hair-raising study of the noxious substances found in common artists'
materials (and of what substances *are* considered noxious, and why!), I
recommend a book called _Artist Beware_, by Michael McCann.

* OLX 2.1 TD * Triskaidekophilia!