Chemicals in drinking water: a new report | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Chemicals in drinking water: a new report

Posted By on Thu, Sep 22, 2016 at 12:01 AM

click to enlarge ewg.jpg

CNN reports on a new study
this week about the level of chromium-6 found in U.S. drinking water.

The naturally occurring substance was the issue in the Erin Brockovich story, made famous by a movie. As CNN notes, the U.S. has no specific EPA guideline for the chemical in water, though there are strict standards on the substance in air for its potential to cause lung cancer. Only California enforces a water limit — 10 parts per billion. The Environmental Working Group, which has compiled data from across the country, believes 75 percent of samples of water done by water utilities for the EPA from 2013 to 2015 exceeded a safe level.

A study that indicated the substance could cause cancer in rats that drink it prompted California to set a goal of .02 parts per billion in tap water.

You'll see from the CNN report a divergence of opinion on the question, including high alarm in some quarters, particularly the EWG.  It has mapped the concentrations found in water utilities across the country and it's searchable by county.


The 16 sample ranged from .04 to .10 parts per billion of chromium-6, all well below the legal standard in California, but above the goal standard that California now believes to be a safer level, with negligible health risk from ingestion of water over an extended period..

I'm seeking a comment from CAW, as the major local water supplier, but a search of the map shows various findings in the state.

UPDATE: I spoke with Randy Easley, director of water quality for CAW, who said the numbers compiled by EWG came from a periodic assessment of non-regulated substances in water supplies. (An EPA standard for chromium mentioned by a reader is for all chromium combined, not chromium-6, Easley said.) He said CAW's water is cleaner than many because it is supplied by lakes who are vigorously protected, rather than from groundwater that can be contaminated by industrial processes. Inevitably, some material can find its way into the system, such as from degradation of chrome plumbing fixtures. But he noted the level here is many times below the California standard. "Everything in our opinion looks pretty good," he said.




Tags: , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Bipartisan deal to continue subsidies Trump ended. But ...

    Everyone's reporting that Sens. Patty Murray and Lamar Alexander have struck a bipartisan deal on to continue federal subsidies for health coverage that Donald Trump cut off.
    • Oct 17, 2017
  • Tuesday: Open line, news roundup

    The open line, plus the day's news roundup.
    • Oct 17, 2017
  • James Lee Witt corrects Trump on grade for Puerto Rico relief effort

    Donald Trump twice yesterday used James Lee Witt, Bill Clinton's widely hailed FEMA director and now in the private business of assisting in disasters, as a reference on the work he's done responding to hurricanes this year. Media, particularly on the conservative end, have echoed the Trump remarks.But hold on: Witt wasn't talking about Puerto Rico.
    • Oct 17, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Judge anticipates punishment of lawyers in Fort Smith class action case

    Federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith issued a 32-page ruling yesterday indicating he contemplates punishment of 16 lawyers who moved a class action lawsuit against an insurance company out of his court to a state court in Polk County after a settlement had been worked out.
    • Apr 15, 2016
  • Your daily dose of Jason Rapert

    Sen. Jason Rapert really, really didn't like it when a KATV reporter asked him about the hypocrisy of his political arguments.
    • Feb 4, 2017
  • Kenneth Starr: A comment from Betsey Wright

    Betsey Wright, former President Bill Clinton's chief of staff when he was Arkansas governor, responds bitterly to a New York Times article today quoting Whitewater Prosecutor Kenneth Starr's warm words about Clinton. She can't forget the lives Starr ruined in Arkansas.
    • May 24, 2016

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation