A decision from the Environmental Protection Agency about whether to decrease how much chromium(VI) is allowed to be present in drinking water is expected soon, the agency says.
Chromium is a metallic element found in rocks, soil, plants and animals. It can be used in making steel, metal plating, leather tanning and in wood preservatives, to name only few. Its hexavalent species (Chromium VI) is toxic and is considered to be a carcinogen. Chromium (VI) became infamous in 2000 with the release of “Erin Brockovich,” which starred Julia Roberts as the title character. The film was set in Hinkley, Calif., depicting people being sickened by chromium (VI) in the water.New EPA ruling ?
About a year ago, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson announced that “it is likely that EPA will tighten drinking water standards to address the health risks posed by chromium VI,” according to the agency's website. Today, Municipalities and residents depending on wells to supply all or part of their water needs still have no answer from a federal agency about whether stricter guidelines will be put in place governing chromium VI in drinking water.
Cathy Milbourn, an agency spokeswoman, offered few details about when drinking water standards could potentially tighten up, saying only that a decision should be reached in 2012. The agency's website shows that a final ruling is due in January, but Milbourn wouldn't provide an exact date for the decision.
available online show that studies released in 2008 by the National
Toxicology Program are the genesis of Jackson's announcement in December
Hexavalent Chromium in U.S. Drinking Water: Related Information U.S. EPA: Statement from EPA Administrator Jackson regarding her meeting with 10 U.S. senators on Chromium-6 U.S. EPA: Basic Information about Chromium in Drinking Water U.S. EPA: Chromium in Drinking Water U.S. EPA: IRIS Toxicological Review of Hexavalent Chromium (External Review Draft) Environmental Working Group: Hexavalent Chromium Environmental Working Group: Chromium-6 in U.S. Tap Water Environmental Working Group: EWG Urges EPA: Protect Public from Chromium-6 in Tap Water Related EVISA Resources Link Database: Toxicity
of hexavalent chromium (chromate) Link Database: Industrial Use of chromate Link Database: Occupational exposure of hexavalent chromium
But the announcement from the agency came on the heels of a study released Dec. 19, 2010 by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), which had tested drinking water in 35 U.S. cities for the contaminant.
According to EWG, Norman's drinking water showed the highest levels of chromium (VI) at nearly 13 parts per billion. Most city officials say that chromium (VI) in local water supplies is so low it is almost undetectable. But cities still could be affected by the EPA ruling depending on the acceptable limit value for Cr(VI).
Link Database: Legislation for hexavalent chromium at the workplace Link Database: Methods for chromium speciation analysis Related EVISA News October 7, 2010: US EPA offers chance to speak out against hexavalent chromium May 17, 2007: Hexavalent Chromium in Drinking Water Causes Cancer in Lab Animals June 8, 2006: Scientific journal adds fuel to ongoing chromium debate
last time modified: December 27, 2011