Water, Water Everywhere…
One of the most basic (and easy) things you can do improve your skin is to drink lots of water. But you may have heard on the news recently that there is widespread Hexavalent Chromium contamination in U.S. tap water.
A well known carcinogen, Hexavalent Chromium (also known as Chromium-6) was found in the tap water of 31 out of 35 US cities tested. If you’ve seen the movie Erin Brockovich, you’ll remember this chemical as the same one PG&E had been secretly leaking into the groundwater of Hinkley, California for 30 years. While Columbus was not one of the cities tested, our neighbors in Cincinnati were. The amount of Chromium-6 in their tap water tested at .03% parts per billion. Luckily for us, that’s considered a pretty trivial amount. California, the only state with a water regulation on Hexavalent Chromium, set the state limit at .06% ppb after the Hinckley incident.
It’s been known for decades that Hexavalent Chromium can lead to lung cancer in humans when inhaled. However, the effects of direct consumption by, say, drinking it, is still unclear. In animals that consumed the chemical, anemia, damage to the lymph nodes, liver and gastrointestinal tract were found. Because of the unknown affects in humans, however, The National Toxicology Program calls Chromium-6 a mere “probable carcinogen”.
Average household filters like PUR and Britta can’t do much to help improve this problem, but reverse-osmosis systems (like ones sold at Kinetico) can reduce up to 98% of the Chromium-6 found in your drinking water.
By all means, this information should not stop you from drinking water! The transparency of this study released by The Environmental Working Group can be regarded as a positive sign that nation-wide regulations will be implemented in the near future.