Well, someone touched a nerve – or, the EPA does a chromium shuffle

22 Dec 2010

Last night, just after our last blog post about Chromium-6, the US EPA released a statement regarding chromium in drinking water. The statement notes that currently, the EPA’s total Chromium standard is 0.1 mg/L (100 parts per billion) and that EPA was already looking at the health effects of Chromium-6 and expected to finalize a draft scientific review sometime in 2011.  Once that was done, it would evaluate whether a new standard needs to be set.

There are several states of chromium, each with its own chemical characteristics. The most common forms are trivalent chromium and hexavalent chromium.  Chromium-6 is generally considered the most dangerous form and is thought to be a carcinogen.  A total standard would include all of the various forms of Chromium and so a reading of 99 ppb (just below the EPA standard) could be either all Chromium-6 or no Chromium-6.   Therefore, for EPA to respond to the report about Chromium-6 by saying that it has a total Chromium standard seems quite disingenuous and very defensive.  Stay tuned.

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