COTANCE cites the three tanning techniques (vegetable, mineral and synthetic tanning) and explains how about 85 – 90% of all leathers processed worldwide are chromium III tanned. “Cr III is extremely versatile. It can be used with all typologies of hides and skins; its use is simple, precise, secure, the process time is shortened, and the amount of chemicals reduced. In short, it is the market’s most demanded processing technique, and tanneries listen to their customers”, says the association, adding that chromium III naturally exists in certain foods.

According to COTANCE, the mineral has “become a scapegoat” for negative influences on human health or the environment, and that leather has also been associated with hexavalent chromium (Cr VI), which is not as benign as its trivalent form, but it is not used for tanning since it has no tanning properties.

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