Chromium 6: Real Issue or Hype?

Is Chromium 6 the next target? Following a report from The Environmental Working Group (EWG) that hexavalent chromium was detected in 25 of 35 drinking water supplies, some are speculating that we will see more focus on monitoring for chromium. According to Environmental Compliance Alert, “The report is expected to prompt EPA to speed up development of a much tighter national drinking water standard for hexavalent chromium.” The current standard is 100 ppb.

What’s not widely reported is EWG used the California standard for chromium in drinking water; 0.06 ppb not the 100 ppb federal standard.

American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) advisor Dr. Robert Baratz, an expert on metal exposure and professor at the Boston University and Tufts University Schools of Medicine was not impressed with EWGs report on the threat of hexavalent chromium in drinking water. According to the ACSH website, “In an NPR article, he (Dr. Baratz) explained that it’s difficult to draw scientifically valid conclusions from the single samples EWG took from water taps in various cities. In addition, he questioned EWG’s decision to use a limit on chromium proposed for California as a benchmark for what would be an acceptable level of chromium-6 nationwide.”

The According to ACSH, “Our research found exactly one member of the EWG board has scientific credentials.”

As always, it’s good advice to look past the headlines.


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