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.

Here's the result of testing of Central Arkansas Water.
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

Speaking of...

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

Readers also liked…

  • FOI lawsuit filed for State Police firing records on ABC enforcement boss Boyce Hamlet

    Russell Racop has filed, as promised, his lawsuit over the State Police's refusal — under guidance from Attorney General Leslie Rutledge — to release records that provide information that led to the firing of current Alcoholic Beverage Control Enforcement Director Boyce Hamlet as a state trooper.
    • Sep 9, 2015
  • 2nd guilty plea in bribery case over state mental health services

    Arkansas Business reports here on a federal court filing Wednesday that shows a second person has pleaded guilty to a bribery scheme to help a major contractor of the state Department of Human Services.
    • Sep 17, 2015
  • From Dallas, creative thinking about the Interstate 30 project

    An urban planner in Dallas says freeways are not always the answer. Incorporating some creativity already being used in Dallas and looking at the Interstate 30 project from a broader perspective, here are ideas that Arkansas highway planners have not considered. But should.
    • Nov 6, 2015

Most Shared

  • Former state board of education chair Sam Ledbetter weighs in on Little Rock millage vote

    Ledbetter, the former state Board of Education chair who cast the decisive vote in 2015 to take over the LRSD, writes that Education Commissioner Johnny Key "has shown time and again that he is out of touch with our community and the needs of the district." However, Ledbetter supports the May 9 vote as a positive for the district's students and staff.

Visit Arkansas

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Chuck Haralson and Ken Smith were inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during the 43rd annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

Slideshows

 

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