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Chromium is a chemical element occurring naturally in many forms, but in hexavalent form it’s toxic and carcinogenic. And it covers significant parts of an old car, including bumpers, doorhandles and windscreen surrounds. Funny thing though, as Nigel Hayward, production manager at S&T Electroplating, points out: ‘We don’t use a lot. In fact, the chromium is really just a thin lacquer to seal in the nickel-plate underneath.