Not Just Lead: Americans Drinking Chromium-6

September 21, 2016

Woman Eyeing WaerYou may not remember, but you probably first heard about Chromium-6 in 2000, when the movie Erin Brockovich came out; Chromium-6 is the cancer-causing water contaminant that she fought against in California.

Chromium-6 is back in the headlines because a new report found that 200 million—that’s about two-thirds—of Americans have more Chromium-6 in their drinking water than is considered safe!

There’s plenty of blame to go around. It starts at the top: scientists say that a safe amount of chromium-6 is about .02 parts per billion (ppb). “Industry” lobbied to win the legal safe limit of 10ppb. That’s a pretty big jump from what’s considered safe, and averages for some cities are in the range of 7.85 ppb.

There’s no national standard in the US, and locally, most cities struggle with keeping basic services up to the standards that most people probably assume they’re getting. (Like zombie TV shows? In reality, pipes/water would last maybe as long as 48 hours in most areas!). And as the Flint/lead crises showed us, our drinking water may not be as clean as we imagine. It may be better than most of the rest of the world, but there’s plenty of room for improvement. East of the Mississippi, many localities are cheating the water testing by running it for 20 minutes before taking a sample, and have their own problems with lead.

Everyone knows that lead is bad these days, but there are a bunch of other chemicals that make it into our water, and regulatory agencies are in a push-and-pull battle with companies over what gets measured, reported, and recommended/mandated.

What can you do? Get familiar with where you local water is coming from, and what the local contaminants are. For Chromium-6, the energy industry is the big contributor.

You can clean the drinking water of your home with a reverse osmosis set-up or other purifier (fridge pitchers work on flavor, not contaminants).

If you’re in one of the cities where contamination is high and want to take action for yourself, try a cleanse. Not a fast, but an actual cleanse: Zeolite has a cage structure that removes large particles and heavy metals. Make sure to follow it up with a mineral supplement like Humic & Fulvic acid.

Share your thoughts on water, detoxing, and more in the comments:

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