What is actually in your drinking water? Most people believe that when they go to have a sip out of their water bottle, they will be getting water, and that is it. What they do not know is that in some states chemicals are being found in the water, including the cancer causing chemical, Chromium-6.
Chromium-6 is a clear, unscented, and tasteless chemical that has been found in two thirds of American’s tap water at higher levels than suggested. The scale, which the Environmental Protection Agency set up twenty five years ago, states that the highest concentration of the chemical should be one hundred part per billion. Thirty one of the thirty five cities tested a few years ago were positive for chromium-6, and the levels just continue to rise.
More than 60,000 samples were found within the last three years. CNN’s Susan Scutti says, “According to the group, the report indicated that only one public water system had total chromium exceeding EPA standards, but 2% of the water systems -- 1,370 counties -- had chromium-6 levels exceeding California's standard of 10 ppb.” In 2013, the highest concentration that was discovered came from Norman, Oklahoma. Now, Phoenix, Arizona certainly has the highest levels. The states with a high concentration of chromium-6 are California, New Jersey, Alabama, Florida, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Minnesota, Arizona, Illinois, Massachusetts, and even North Carolina. The naturally occurring chemical that may also be produced by industrial products and are subsequently released by leakages. Lung cancer is the worst side effect of consuming chromium-6, but small amounts can also have affects, such as skin burns, pneumonia, complications during childbirth, and stomach cancer. This chemical is effecting health around the United States.
On Sept. 23, PBS reporter Courtney Norris wrote, “The EPA has been conducting a comprehensive health review of chromium-6 since 2010, when the first nationwide tests for the carcinogen began in response to a previous EWG report. Goldman said the holdup over setting a federal regulation for chromium-6 is likely due to the fact that testing for chromium-6 toxicity is difficult and few people have proper experience with it.” The EPA is making an effort to act on the levels of chromium-6 in the water.
“The difficulty with chromium-6 is how to set a standard to protect human health during windows of development,” senior scientist, David Andrews explains. “When you find widespread evidence of contamination, do something about it. Don't just study it to death. We're kind of using chromium-6 as a poster child for systemic failures of drinking water regulation." So the question is, how is the EPA going to prevent the chemical chromium-6 from harming more people?