Sunday, September 24, 2016 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
A report published last week by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) revealed that hexavalent chromium, or chromium-6 — the chemical made famous in the movie “Erin Brockovich” — could be in the drinking water of nearly 71 million Americans.
Chromium-6, studies have shown, has been linked with numerous types of cancer, skin rashes and other health complications.
Among those millions of Americans who may be exposed to chromium-6 are residents of Maywood, Bellwood and Melrose Park, whose water systems, the EWG’s tests indicate, have levels of chromium-6 ranging between 600 percent and more than 1,000 percent higher than the level considered safe by California public health officials.
The bad news is that this stuff, tests indicate, is in the water and at levels that ought to give lawmakers, regulators and public health officials serious pause.
It’s up to us the voters to push them into action (the easiest way to do it is by calling your local congressman and/or state lawmaker and initiating a conversation about what steps the state and federal government are taking to mitigate this problem).
The good news is that there’s a more immediate way to get this toxic stuff out of the water that comes out of our faucets and shower heads.
The solution? A filter, as PBS reports:
“The most effective way to remove chromium-6 from drinking water is with an ion exchange water treatment unit, said Ian Webster, president of Project Navigator, an environmental engineering project management company, retained to represent the Hinkley community. PG&E is using this technique to treat the drinking water in Hinkley.
“The technology relies on tiny beads of Jello-like resin packed into columns. As the chromium-laced water travels through the treatment unit, chromium-6 ions cling to the resin beads, getting removed from the water in the process. This technology is also effective for removing arsenic and manganese, which are also present in Hinkley groundwater.
“A word of warning though: Over time, the metals build up in the filter, reducing its effectiveness. The unit must be actively monitored and maintained, and filters must be replaced regularly.”
The Environmental Working Group even features a nifty water filter buying guide on its website, which allows you customize your purchase based on a variety of preferences, including filter technology, which specific contaminants you’re seeking to remove and how much you want to spend.
Read the PBS article in full to see which filter specification you should be looking for when you visit EWG’s water filter buying guide web page (click the image below to access it). VFP