Chromium is a hard, lustrous steel-gray metal that was discovered in 1797. Found primarily in chromite ore, it is usually produced by reducing the oxide with aluminum.
Chromium is used to harden steel, make stainless steel, and form other alloys. In plating, it produces a hard, smooth surface that resists corrosion. Chromium in glass imparts an emerald green color and is also used as a catalyst.
All chromium compounds are colored and useful in a number of industrial applications. Chromium compounds are toxic and should be handled properly. Chromium is present in certain foods but toxic in excess.