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Hexavalent Chromium Tap Water

Hexavalent Chromium Tap Water - The nation's top environmental regulator on Tuesday promised to complete a scientific review of hexavalent chromium by summer and consider ordering cities to start testing for the toxic metal in tap water.

During a meeting with senators from Illinois and six other states, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson said new research may lead to an overhaul of federal regulations limiting chromium, a metal that occurs naturally in the environment but also is discharged into water and air by steel mills and other industries.

A study released this week by the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization, found hexavalent chromium, also known as chromium-6, in tap water from 31 cities. The amount in Lake Michigan water pumped to 7 million people in Chicago and its suburbs was 0.18 parts per billion, three times higher than a safety limit proposed last year by California officials.

Hexavalent Chromium Tap Water

The EPA now limits and requires water testing only for total chromium, a standard that includes another form of the metal, chromium-3, an essential nutrient. Critics say federal rules, last updated in 1992, need to be strengthened to reflect the latest science that links chromium-6 to stomach cancer.

"We need to see if this is more widespread," said Sen. Dick Durbin, the Illinois Democrat who called for the meeting. "And we need to go after the sources if we can find them."

Hexavalent Chromium Tap Water


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