Remember “Erin Brokovich”? Learn About Charlotte Drinking Water Concerns

A national report released Tuesday September 20, 2016 concluded that unsafe levels of chromium-6 — known to cause cancer — has been found in tap water serving 200 million Americans across all 50 states. Chromium-6 was first made famous by Julia Roberts in the movie “Erin Brokovich,” but it is now making headlines on mainstream media, as the results of this tap water test is being reported on www.Weather.com, www.LiveScience.com and the like. The EWG (the Environmental Working Group, an independent agency) predicts that, if this problem is left unaddressed, the chromium-6 currently found in tap water will cause over 12,000 new cases of cancer.

What is Chromium-6?

You can’t taste it or smell it. Chromium-6 is a toxic form of a metallic element that is naturally found in rocks and soil. The element we are talking about is not the natural form, but rather a form of chromium-6 that is formed during industrial processes. It comes from industrial pollution such as waste leakage or unsafe industrial waste disposal practices.

Chromium-6 is often confused with Chromium-3, an essential human dietary nutrient found in many foods and useful for improving the body’s use of insulin and metabolism of carbohydrates.

Chromium-6 is dangerous stuff. Breathing chromium-6 is known to result in lung cancer, and the government monitors airborne levels of chromium-6 in the workplace. Ingesting chromium-6 is linked to reproductive complications, developmental delays and impediments for children and infants, and liver damage. Particularly at risk are infants, children, people with liver problems and people who regularly take antacids.

Water Quality Standards for Chromium-6

The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment concluded that there is a causal link between chromium-6 and cancer, meaning it is believed to cause cancer. The research determined that safety limits should be set at a maximum of 0.02 parts per billion, and California passed a legal limit (at 10 parts per billion). It is the only state to set a legal limit, and even that limit is much higher than what the study shows to be safe.

As of 2016, the EPA limits the total chromium that can occur in drinking water, but the safety limits are 100 part per billion, which is over 5,000 times over the amount established as unsafe by the research.

Latest Water Quality Test Results

According to the national September 2016 EWG report, chromium-6 was found in amounts exceeding California’s limits in approximately 90 percent of water sources tested. Remember, California’s limit is higher than the safety limit established by the research. This is very bad news for Americans drinking unfiltered tap water.

Should You Switch to Bottled Water?

The EWG surveyed 173 companies that sell bottled water. Of those 174 companies, only three actually provide information about their bottled water’s source, purification methods, or a list of chemical pollutants found in the water sold in bottled form.

What does this mean? You don’t really know what you’re drinking when you buy bottled water. In most cases, you are drinking tap water, which is no better than drinking water straight from your own tap. In fact, you are also hurting the environment through the use of plastics.

The EWG strongly suggests that you take your health into your own hands and only drink filtered water. Take it even further; make sure the water filtration system you invest in removes contaminants like chromium-6 from the water. Whole house water filtrations systems are the safest bets because you are no longer at risk of breathing in airborne chromium-6 while showering, bathing or cooking with tap water. When all of the water in your home is filtered, your family is truly safe.

Is Charlotte Drinking Water Safe?

This information comes on the heels of recent problems with water quality related to lead leaching into water systems due to old pipes and soldering.

If you’re concerned about Charlotte drinking water and want to learn more about water filtration, read our many blog posts about types of water filters, whole house water filtration systems, and bottled water options. Got questions you’d like answered by a professional? Give us a call at 704-269-1066 or use our online contact form. We look forward to helping you figure out what the best solution is for your family.

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