The element chromium is a hard, brittle metal with the symbol Cr, whose atomic number is 24. Chemist and pharmacist Nicholas Louis Vauquelin first discovered chromium in 1780.
Chromium is a steel-gray metal with a melting point of 3,465 degrees Fahrenheit. Chromium comes from the Greek word for color, which is "chroma."
Chromium helps to make stainless steel, a form of steel that is highly resistant to discoloration and corrosion. Chromium used to help form stainless steel, along with electroplating (chrome plating) accounts for about 85 percent of commercial uses. In large amounts, chromium can be very dangerous to the environment, and often requires environmental cleanup.