Soluble nickel compounds used in plating operations include nickel sulphate and nickel chloride. Inhaling mist containing such compounds can cause serious health effects such as asthma and there is also evidence to suggest an increased risk of cancer and harm to the unborn child. Nickel sulphate and chloride will be reclassified as substances which “may cause cancer by inhalation”. The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (CoSHH) Regulations 2002 require a number of additional precautionary measures to be applied where exposure to a carcinogen cannot be prevented. These measures need not be applied if you can keep these compounds in a non-inhalable form i.e. a nickel-plating solution does not require additional controls if a mist is not created.
The SEA has produced industry-specific guidance in association with the Health & Safety Executive which consists of the following documents:
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