Chromium 6 is the cancer causing chemical that played a significant role in the iconic Erin Brockovich story. According to a report published by the Environmental Working Group that accessed the Environmental Protection agency (EPA) between 2013 and 2015, higher than recommended levels of chromium 6 were found in the tap water that was supplied to approximately two-thirds of Americans.
More About Chromium
Chromium is a metallic element that is tasteless and odorless, found in soil, plants, volcanic dust and animals. The most common types of chromium that exist in water in our surroundings are chromium-3 and chromium-6. Even though the EPA has classified chromium-6 as a recognized carcinogen, there isn’t a federal standard for the maximum amount that can be in our water.
In the 90’s, the EPA established a regulation for total chromium. The regulation also included chromium 3, which is a naturally occurring chemical and an essential nutrient for humans. To test chromium 6 levels in drinking water, the EPA requires that a specified number of systems monitor chromium 6 levels per the third Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Regulation (UCMR 3). This regulation requires monitoring of numerous, but not all public water systems, for chromium 6 over a one-year period.
Why is Chromium 6 in Your Water?
Chromium 6 develops naturally in the environment, however, high quantities are produced by industrial projects as well. Contamination can take place when these industrial locations don’t follow proper waste disposal procedures. For example, using unlined coal ash ponds.
Whenever safety precautions fail, Chromium 6 can potentially end up in our water supplies through waste filled streams. Industries that produce Chromium 6 that contains waste include leather tanning, textile manufacturing, steel production, electroplating, and wood preservation.
Can Chromium 6 be Removed?
Yes! Look for a NSF/ANSI Standard 58: Reverse Osmosis (RO) Drinking Water Treatment Systems. Standard 58 was created for reverse osmosis, point-of-use treatment solutions. These treatment systems typically include an RO membrane, pre-filter, RO, and post-filter. Standard 58 includes contaminant reduction claims being regularly treated using RO, including fluoride, both chromium 3 and 6, nitrates, total dissolved solids and more, that may very well be present in private and public drinking water.
The good news is that there are water filtration systems available today that can remove potentially toxic chemicals from your tap water. Water testing results have shown that in some cases when water passes through reverse osmosis water filter systems, chromium six is decreased by approximately 90%.
Even though other water purifying systems that include water distillers and some of the ceramic filter systems can be effective home water filtration alternatives for reducing chromium 6, the Environmental Working Group highly suggests using a reverse osmosis system. Not only are they considered to be one of the best and most effective ways to remove chromium 6 from drinking water, but they also last a long time as well.
If you need reverse osmosis installed or updated in your home, learn more about our systems, and give us a call today.