Chromium 6 Water Filters and Filtration:
Sources of Chromium-6 in Water: Chromium-6 was brought into the national spotlight with the movie, Erin Brockovich starring Julia Roberts. But chromium-6 is not the only form of this odorless and tasteless element. Chromium is a naturally occurring element in rocks, plants, soil and volcanic dust. The most common forms of chromium in the environment are trivalent (chromium-3), hexavalent (chromium-6), and the metal form, chromium-0. Chromium-3 occurs naturally in many vegetables, fruits, meats, grains, and yeast; this type is actually a needed nutrient for humans. Chromium-6 is used in industrial processes. Chromium-6 in drinking water is generally a sign of pollution from steel and pulp mills or the erosion of natural deposits. At many industrial plants, chromium compounds have been released into groundwater through leakage, poor storage, or improper disposal practices. In 2010 the Environmental Working Group found that dangerous levels of hexavalent chromium (or chromium-6) are present in 31 of 35 U.S. cities, with Madison, Wisconsin; Honolulu, HI; San Jose and Riverside, CA having the highest levels.
The EPA regulates chromium-6 as part of the total chromium drinking water standard. This standard does not distinguish what percentage of the total chromium is chromium-6 and what is the harmless chromium-3. The current EPA standard is set at 0.1 mg/L. However, with all of the new research that has discovered the dangerous health effects of this toxic water contaminant, other agencies including the State of California and the World Health Organization recommend further testing and controls just for chromium-6. California is currently changing their MCL levels to 0.05 mg/L.
Symptoms of Chromium-6: Chromium-6 is known as a human carcinogen via inhalation. And, it is widely acknowledged that those who ingest chromium-6 over a period of years can develop skin damage. Now, recent studies of chromium-6 in drinking water have shown that it raises the risk of internal tumors and organ cancer.
Filtration Solutions for Chromium: The EPA has been in the process of changing the nationwide regulations on chromium-6 for more than five years. Don't let your family's safety wait any longer. There are ways to reduce this toxin from your drinking water. Hexavalent Chromium (Cr₆+) can be reduced with a strong base anion exchanger which must be regenerated with caustic sodium hydroxide. More convenient solutions include reverse osmosis systems which can effectively reduce both forms of chromium in water by 90 to 97%. Water distillers will also reduce chromium in drinking water.