- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
Days after EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson briefed 10 senators on the dangers of hexavalent chromium in drinking water across the country, California environmental health officials released proposed regulation for the chemical in the state’s drinking water supplies. The state legislature had charged officials to develop such standards by 2004. Other states are also considering new standards for hexchrome in their drinking water as well.
The impetus to achieve these new standards was a report issued by the Environmental Working Group, which is a non-profit public health and environmental research and advocacy organization with headquarters in California, in 2009. They collected samples nationwide and discovered that 31 of the 35 samples exceeded 0.02 ppb of hexchrome. Currently, most drinking water permits require analysis of total chrome and hexchrome is not differentiated. While the hexavalent form is a known cancer-causing chemical, the trivalent form is not. In fact, trivalent chrome is included in multivitamins as a nutrient.
The highest concern is for children. Many adults have strong enough stomach acid that reduces hexchrome to trichrome. However, the stomach acid in children is usually much lower, allowing the hexavalent ion to survive.
The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment is now accepting public comments. The comment period in the state will last for one month. A final regulation is expected in mid-2011.