In addition to nickel and perfumes, chromate is one of the most significant contact allergens. Leather goods are a major source of chromate sensitization.
During leather processing, various tanning agents are used in order to ensure sufficient durability. Today, chromium (III) salts are primarily used. If the production process is impure, chromate (also known as chromium (VI)), a chemical variation, can be produced. Chromate can penetrate the skin more easily, especially when the natural protective layer has been damaged by small injuries or rough patches. In people with sensitive skin, irritations or contact allergy reactions can be triggered. Constant contact with chromate can promote the development of a chromate allergy.
The ECARF Seal of Quality certifies leather that has been proven free of chromate.