31 Cities’ Water Has Carcinogens

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YAHOO NEWS- The Environmental Working Group released a report Monday indicating that millions of Americans are regularly drinking hexavalent chromium, made famous in the film “Erin Brockovich” as a carcinogen, through their tap water.

The group — whose study was first reported in a story Sunday by the Washington Post’s Lyndsey Layton — tested water from 35 U.S. cities and found that samples from 31 cities contained hexavalent chromium. The highest concentrations were found in Norman, Okla.; Honolulu; and Riverside, Calif. The substance had been a widely used industrial chemical for decades and has evidently leached into the groundwater in many areas.

The EWG report states:

“Despite mounting evidence of the contaminant’s toxic effects, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not set a legal limit for chromium-6 in tap water and does not require water utilities to test for it. Hexavalent chromium is commonly discharged from steel and pulp mills as well as metal-plating and leather-tanning facilities. It can also pollute water through erosion of natural deposits.

“The authoritative National Toxicology Program (NTP) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has said that chromium-6 in drinking water shows ‘clear evidence of carcinogenic activity’ in laboratory animals, increasing the risk of gastrointestinal tumors. Just last October, a draft review by the EPA similarly found that ingesting the chemical in tap water is ‘likely to be carcinogenic to humans.’ Other health risks associated with exposure include liver and kidney damage, anemia and ulcers.”

Read full article about Cities’ Water Containing Hexavalent Chromium here.

Photo by Flickr user GFRPhoto

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