A recent study published by the Environmental Working Group has discovered that the water supply for over 200 million Americans across the U.S. is contaminated by the carcinogenic compound chromium-6. The EWG estimates that this contamination puts over 12,000 Americans at risk of potentially developing cancer. This is yet another instance of federal regulators failing to protect the innocent citizens who rely upon these regulations to keep their drinking water safe.
Despite the fact that chromium-6, a compound often used to preserve wood or prevent corrosion, is able to increase the risk of cancer at even low doses, chemical industries have aggressively lobbied for state regulators to increase the legal limit of chromium-6 to 500 times what scientists have deemed safe. Studies have also shown that the ingestion of chromium-6 can also cause liver damage, reproductive issues, and developmental disabilities. These risks are exacerbated in children.
A risk assessment for this contamination by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been postponed indefinitely since 2015 following lobbying by the chemical industry.
It is time for citizens to take the safety of their drinking water into their own hands. Between this nation-wide chromium-6 contamination and Michigan’s toxic drinking water situation in Flint, governmental regulators have repeatedly shown an inept ability to keep our drinking water safe.
As is becoming increasingly apparent, we as individuals have to take responsibility for the safety of our drinking water, because the U.S. government clearly won’t.