Hexavalent Chromium; Known Name, Unknown Threat
Residents of California who have watched the movie Erin Brockovich are familiar with the words Hinkley and hexavalent chromium. They may know that when ingested or inhaled, it can cause serious health effects, and plague the drinking water of their community. But whether or not they know for sure if it is found in their water is still yet to come. A new study by the Environmental Working Group has recently published a study which states that in the United States alone, 35 cities tested positive for drinking water with hexavalent chromium, and 25 of those cities has amounts that exceed any recommended state or government levels. Some of these areas are located in California, and the study has brought about new potential threats to already sensitive drinking water sources in the western state.
Hexavalent chromium is a toxic form of the element chromium and their compounds are man-made and widely used in many different industries. Other research on the toxic chemical shows that it can be dangerous when both inhaled and ingested and can cause several types of cancer in large enough amounts. In smaller doses, it can still cause health issues with nasal passages and breathing. Residents of California could possibly ingest this toxin chemical through drinking water if present, and without knowing, could be putting themselves and their families in danger.
It was determined to be a probable carcinogen in 2008. Also stated in a document by the Clean Water Fund, “according to the Department of Public Health, from 1997 through 2008 chromium VI was detected in 2,208 California drinking water sources monitored for the contaminant. These sources are spread throughout 52 out of 58 counties, impacting an estimated 33 million Californians.”
Other related studies on the effects of hexavalent chromium state that the best way to stay safe is to use a water treatment system like reverse osmosis or water coolers. Check with your local water supply company to see if this toxin is present in your drinking water, and take the safe step of installing a reverse osmosis system in your California home. To read more about this article, click here.
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