Cancer-Causing Chemical Found in Drinking Water of 218 Million Americans

Interactive map of chromium-6 in U.S. drinking water shows an estimated 218 million Americans served unsafe levels of the chemical.

Drinking WaterDrinking water supplies for two-thirds of Americans are contaminated with the carcinogenic chemical made notorious by the film, Erin Brockovich, which was based on the real-life poisoning of tap water in a California desert town. But there are no national regulations for the compound—and the chemical industry is trying to keep it that way.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) released an analysis Tuesday of more than 60,000 tap water tests conducted nationwide, finding that chromium-6, or hexavalent chromium, is in the tap water of more than 218 million Americans.

That’s two-thirds of the U.S. being served water with chromium-6 at, or above, the level that California state scientists consider safe. The California public health goal allows a chromium-6 level expected to cause no more than one case of cancer in 1 million people who drink it for lifetime.

Though far more permissive than its public health goal, California is the only state that has set an enforceable legal limit for chromium-6 in drinking water. Federal chromium regulations, set in 1991, do not specifically address chromium-6 and do not consider current science showing that drinking water contaminated with the chemical can cause cancer.

Chromium is a naturally occurring element but can also be manufactured. The two main types are chromium-3—an essential human nutrient considered to be mostly harmless—and chromium-6, which has long been known to cause lung cancer when airborne particles are inhaled.

Recent science has also shown that, when ingested, it can cause stomach cancer. Chromium-6 is used in chrome plating, wood and leather treatments, dyes and pigments, and the water in cooling towers of electrical power plants.

A 2008 study by the National Toxicology Program found chromium-6 in drinking water caused cancer in rats and mice. California state scientists drew on that study to determine its public health goal, which is unenforceable, but guided state regulators in setting a legal limit. Although EWG believes the legal limit is far too high to protect public health, it is the only enforceable regulation on chromium-6 in the U.S.

The National Toxicology Program study was also used by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to draft a health assessment for a safe exposure level. The draft was completed in 2011, but not formally released because the chemical and electric power industries pressured the EPA to wait for the results of other, industry-funded studies. Five years later, we’re still waiting for the industry studies, which are expected to argue that the EPA doesn’t need to set a national standard at all. They’re also expected to fundamentally challenge the way the EPA calculates the risk of all carcinogenic chemicals.

Will the EPA stand up to industry pressure? The agency’s record is not good. Since landmark amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act in 1996, the EPA has not set any new drinking water regulations for previously unregulated contaminants. The EPA has ordered tests on 81 contaminants, but moved forward on setting regulations for just one—and those regulations are two years behind schedule.

California’s public health goal is 0.02 parts per billion of chromium-6 in drinking water, yet the state’s legal limit is 500 times higher. A home water filter can remove chromium-6 and most other chemicals of concern, but can be expensive. Ultimately, the better solution is for federal regulators to set drinking water standards that keep up with advances in science and prevent dangerous contaminants from getting into tap water in the first place.

Sourceecowatch

Find us here

Get news from the CSGLOBE in your inbox each weekday morning

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors/source and do not necessarily reflect the position of CSGLOBE or its staff.

Paid content

10 Facts About Fluoride

1.) 97% of western Europe has chosen fluoride-free water This includes: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Scotland,...

Water-related disease: The Misery of Cholera

We’re bombarded with numbers every day. But seeing a number and understanding it are two different things. Far too often, the true “significance” of a...

Court Decision Could Lead to EPA Banning Water Fluoridation

In a victory for water fluoridation opponents, a judge in the Northern District of California has denied a motion by the EPA that...

What's New Today

Georgia House Votes To Allow Citizens To Abolish Police Departments In The State

The Georgia House backed an effort on Friday to dissolve the Glynn County Police Department and any...

Leaked CDC document contradicts Pence claim that U.S. coronavirus cases ‘have stabilized’

Even as Vice President Mike Pence wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Tuesday that coronavirus...

Five bombshells about Trump from Bolton ‘s book

Excerpts from former national security adviser John Bolton ’s book about his time in the Trump administration...

Don’t Listen to Fox. Here’s What’s Really Going On in Seattle’s Protest Zone.

It seems I live in a city undergoing a “totalitarian takeover” that will lead to “fascist outcomes”...

MOST READ

What Is Agenda 21? Depopulation of 95% of the World By 2030

Most people are unaware that one of the greatest threats to their freedom may be a United Nations program which plans to depopulate 95%...

Complete List of BANKS Owned/Controlled by the Rothschild Family

What’s the significance of having a central bank within a country and why should you concern yourself, your family and colleagues? Central banks are illegally...

Leaked CDC document contradicts Pence claim that U.S. coronavirus cases ‘have stabilized’

Even as Vice President Mike Pence wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Tuesday that coronavirus...

10 Facts About Fluoride

1.) 97% of western Europe has chosen fluoride-free water This includes: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Scotland,...

Study Finds Over 24,000 Chemicals In Bottled Water

Which Ones of these Chemicals, Are Harming You? Tap water is by no means something to reach for when looking to achieve optimal health. But...

Dallas Ends Water Fluoridation, Saves $1 Million

Dallas Ends Five Decades of Water Fluoridation, Saves $1 Million a Year Dallas City Council members decided to end the fluoridation of the city’s water...

So Why Are We Still Drinking Fluoride, Again?

We know that over 20 studies, many of which come from prestigious organizations like Harvard and are published in federal government journals, have told...

Final 100 Candidates Selected for One-Way Trip to Mars

Mars One, the controversial reality TV-funded project to send people on a one-way trip to Mars, has narrowed down its “astronaut selection process” to...

Hidden in Plain Sight – The Global Depopulation Agenda

(The Global Depopulation) This is one of the first of ten commandments blazoned across the Georgia Guidestones, an occult monument for which no person...

Here’s Where the US Ranks on the List of Most Peaceful Nations in the World

The Global Peace Index, which bases its annual assessment on a complex analysis of social, economic, and political factors, has found that the United...

Norway to Kill 47 of Its Remaining 68 Wolves

Norway has announced plans to kill more than two-thirds of its remaining wolves, justifying the action as protection for livestock. The plan has sparked...