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

  • Eclipse-o-rama underway

    Times photographer Brian Chilson is in Riverfront Park participating in eclipsealypse. Here's a shot of people trying out their safety glasses.
    • Aug 21, 2017
  • Corporate welfare is a failure. So why does it keep increasing?

    Huge study says corporate welfare is inefficient and unproductive. But politicians keep doing it. Wonder why.
    • Aug 21, 2017
  • Police identify three dead in Birchwood

    Police have now released some details about the apparent slaying Sunday of two children and suicide of the man who killed them on Birchwood Drive in West Little Rock. Court recordx indicate the suspect had a history of domestic violence.
    • Aug 21, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Charter school accountability: Non-existent in Arkansas

    A state audit finds charter school spending violated state law, but the state Education Department says it has no responsibility for ensuring proper management of charter schools. Say what?
    • Mar 5, 2016
  • Policy group urges opposition to new charter seats in Little Rock

    The Arkansas Public Policy Panel is urging supporters of the Little Rock School District to tell state Board of Education members they oppose applications to be heard this week to dramatically expand the number of charter school seats in the Little Rock School District.
    • Mar 9, 2016
  • Judge Griffen: Why black lives matter

    Another few words from Judge Wendell Griffen growing from the controversy over the sale of Black Lives Matter T-shirts at the state black history museum — removed by the administration and restored after protests from Griffen and others stirred by a story in the Arkansas Times:
    • Mar 13, 2016

Most Shared

  • Lynchings hidden in the history of the Hot Springs Confederate monument

    Hot Springs twice erupted into the kind of violence that has its roots in the issues left unresolved by the Civil War, and both times, it happened right where that monument to Confederate soldiers stands today.
  • Take yourself there: Mavis Staples coming to LR for Central High performance

    Gospel and R&B singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples, who has been inspiring fans with gospel-inflected freedom songs like "I'll Take You There" and "March Up Freedom's Highway" and the poignant "Oh What a Feeling" will come to Little Rock for the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High.
  • Klan's president

    Everything that Donald Trump does — make that everything that he says — is calculated to thrill his lustiest disciples. But he is discovering that what was brilliant for a politician is a miscalculation for a president, because it deepens the chasm between him and most Americans.
  • On Charlottesville

    Watching the Charlottesville spectacle from halfway across the country, I confess that my first instinct was to raillery. Vanilla ISIS, somebody called this mob of would-be Nazis. A parade of love-deprived nerds marching bravely out of their parents' basements carrying tiki torches from Home Depot.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

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