Hexavalent Chromium (aka Chromium 6) Found In California Drinking Water

According to California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, at least a third of all drinking water tested positive for the carcinogen hexavalent chromium, which was made popular by Erin Brockovich, and is also more widely known as chromium 6.

Hexavalent chromium, a heavy metal, is also known as chromium-6. It is used in pigment and paint production, tanning, and stainless steel welding, among other things. Hexavalent chromium has been found at two-thirds of the nation’s Superfund sites.

“Hexavalent chromium enters the drinking water supply through surface water runoff from industrial operations and soil leachate conveyed into groundwater,” the complaint, filed by the National Resources Defense Council along with the Environmental Working Group, states. “People may be exposed to hexavalent chromium by drinking contaminated water, eating contaminated food, inhaling polluted air, and contacting contaminated soils.”

Exposure to the chemical creates an increased risk of cancer, liver problems, stomach ulcers and lesions, and decreased sperm count, according to the complaint.

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