Alpinestars to recall GP Plus gloves containing cancer-causing Chromium (VI)

Alpinestars' GP Plus gloves have been ordered to be recalled after they were found to contain cancer-causing Chromium (VI).

Alpinestars GP Plus BL/WH gloves. - European Commission.

Alpinestars have been forced to recall one of their glove models because of a substance in its construction that can cause cancer.

Alpinestars are a well-respected brand in motorcycling. Whether on the roads, a track; dirt or asphalt, Alpinestars can offer something to cover pretty much any part of your body that needs protecting while riding.

However, if you have picked up a set of their black and white GP Plus gloves (GP Plus Gloves BL/WH), they will be recalled by Alpinestars due to the discovery of Chromium (VI) in their contstruction.

A publication from the European Commission (EC), that was also reported on by the Federation of European Motorcyclists' Associations (FEMA), has stated that these particular Alpinestars gloves contain the chemical Chromium (VI), which the EC says is sensitising, can cause allergic reactions, and can cause cancer. The EC says that Alpinestars must remove the gloves from the market, and they can no longer be marketed by distributors, in addition to the recall.

Chromium is a compound which stands out for its resistance to corrosion and its hardness. In fact, only Boron and Carbon are harder than Chromium. For these reasons, it is used in steel production to make stainless steel. 

However, Chromium (VI) is acutely toxic due to its strong oxidant properties, and once it has entered the body can damage the kidneys and liver, as well as blood cells, through oxidant reactions. Such reactions can cause blood cells to rupture, and even liver failure. 

Chromium (VI) has also been found to be carcinogenic through animal testing, and when inhaled can cause cancer of the lungs, of the nose, and of the nasal sinuses. Of all the Chromium compounds, the UK government describes Chromium (VI) as the one with the highest risks. It says that inhaling Chromium (VI) can cause swelling of airways, chest pain, inflammation of the lung; swallowing it can cause abdominal pain, diarrhoea, heart failure, damage to the gut, liver and kidneys, and can lead to death. Generally speaking, the government says that Chromium (VI) can cause cancer, and damage to the reproductive system, including to an unborn child. However, these are not the primary risks from the Alpinestars gloves.

Instead, the most relevant health issues presented by Chromium (VI) to this Alpinestars recall, is that skin contact with Chromium (VI) can cause dermatitis and skin ulcers, if left untreated.