6 Surprising Facts about Chromium-6 in Water

Chromium-6, also known as hexavalent chromium, affects the drinking water of 2 out of every 3 Americans. Let's learn more.

1). Unsafe levels of Chromium-6 in water affects 2 out of 3 every Americans

This shocking number came from a report from by the EWG. And it concludes that 65% of Americans drink water tainted by chromium-6.
The study considers 0.02 parts per billion (ppb) of chromium-6 to be safe. And anything smaller poses little risk. This conclusion comes from research by the National Toxicology Program and the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.
According to these reports, anything greater 0.02ppb of chromium-6 in water can cause cancer.
1ppb is equivalent to a single drop in an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

2). Chromium-6 is created by industrial processes

Chromium is a chemical element that occurs in many forms. And naturally occurring chromium-3 is healthy in low amounts.
Chromium metal
Chromium metal
Chromium-6 is almost entirely produced by human activities. Furthermore, it's considered a workplace carcinogen by OSHA. So any employees who work with it abide by special rules.

3). There is no EPA limit for chromium-6 in water

The EPA sets a maximum level of 100ppb for total chromium. That combines harmless chromium-3 and toxic chromium-6. So, the EPA limit is 5,000 times higher than what other agencies suggest.
The EPA concludes chromium-6 is likely to be toxic in water. But there is still some debate on how much chromium-6 in water is safe.

4). Chromium-6 in water is cannot be found without testing

Chromium-6 is like arsenic, nitrates, and radium. It's simply too small to notice, even when it's in large amounts.
With this in mind, look for your county on EWG's interactive map for chromium-6. And know that water contamination is a moving target. So levels can change greatly over time.

5). The plot of a major Hollywood movie centered on chromium-6 in water.

chromium 6 in water
The movie poster for Erin Brockovich
Chromium-6 hit the big screen in 2000 with Erin Brockovich. The portrayal of Hinkley, CA was a hit. A true story about a town's chromium-6 poisoning.
The real Erin Brockovich was instrumental in a successful lawsuit. She sued the company for releasing chromium-6 into the town's water. And the lawsuit ended with a settlement for $333 million. It's the largest settlement ever made in a direct action lawsuit.

6). You can protect yourself from chromium-6 in water

A local Culligan dealership can test for Chromium-6. Your local water system may also provide testing for a fee.
In the event of contamination, Culligan has a solution. RO is effective in reducing chromium-6 and other contaminants.