In response to a new national map showing the presence of chromium-6 in the nation’s drinking water, the Water Quality Association (WQA) has provided new resources to help homeowners and businesses understand the issue.
On September 20th, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) released a new interactive map illustrating occurrence data on chromium-6 <http://www.ewg.org/interactive-maps/2016-chromium6-lower-48.php>. The data was collected under the USEPA unregulated contaminant monitoring report (UCMR).
In 1977, California set a state maximum contaminant level (MCL) for total chromium, which includes chromium-6, at 50 ug/L. The US EPA adopted the same 50 ug/L MCL for total chromium, however in 1991 the federal MCL was raised to 100 ug/L. California did not follow the US EPA’s change and stayed with 50 ug/L. The US EPA has not created a separate MCL for chromium-6.
Although the US EPA has not created a federal MCL for chromium 6, in 2011 the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) established a public health goal for chromium-6 of 0.02 ug/L. This is an unenforceable goal. In 2014 the California Department of Health Services (CDHS) developed the chromium-6 MCL, set at 10 ug/L.
WQA recommends homeowners have their water tested by a water treatment professional or certified lab. Water treatment professionals can be found using WQA’s Find Water Treatment Providers tool.
Selection of water treatment devices for health contaminant reduction should be made only after careful investigation of its performance capabilities based on test results. Products displaying WQA’s Gold Seal have been thoroughly tested and meet the requirements of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for their contaminant reduction claims. Consumers can visit WQA’s product certification listings to search WQA’s database of certified products <https://www.wqa.org/find-products#/keyword/?claim=43>.
For technical factsheets and handouts on chromium, visit the WQA’s website <https://www.wqa.org/>, or follow the links below.
WQA is a not-for-profit trade association representing the residential, commercial, and industrial water treatment industry. Since 1959, the WQA Gold Seal certification program has been certifying products that contribute to the safe consumption of water. The WQA Gold Seal program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC).