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Report: Harmful chemical found in tap water of 31 U.S. cities
December 20th, 2010
12:00 AM ET

Report: Harmful chemical found in tap water of 31 U.S. cities

Millions of Americans in at least 31 U.S. cities could be drinking tap water contaminated with the harmful chemical hexavalent chromium, according to a report released Monday by the non-profit Environmental Working Group.

While the dangerous carcinogen, otherwise known as chromium-6, may sound foreign to most people, perhaps the name Erin Brockovich will ring a bell.

After chromium-6 was discovered in the water supply of Hinkley, California, Brockovich helped bring about a lawsuit that ultimately ended in 1996 with the utility company, Pacific Gas & Electric, paying more than $330 million in damages.  Norman, Oklahoma; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Riverside, California, top the non-profit organization's list of cities with water supplies contaminated by chromium-6.

The Environmental Protection Agency has classified the toxin as a carcinogen to humans if it is inhaled.  The EPA is proposing to classify it as "likely to be carcinogenic to humans" if ingested as part of a risk assessment the agency is currently conducting. The agency says water utilities are required to test for total chromium levels in the water but not explicitly for chromium-6. Chromium-6 is a natural byproduct of total chromium.

"In order to protect people's health, EPA has had drinking water standards for total chromium, which includes chromium-6," the agency said in a statement to CNN. "When this scientific assessment is finalized in 2011, EPA will carefully review the conclusions and consider all relevant information, including the Environmental Working Group's study, to determine if a new standard needs to be set."

"I was expecting to find hexavalent chromium in some of the cities we checked, but I didn't expect it to be so widespread," said Rebecca Sutton, a senior scientist with the Environmental Working Group and the lead author of the study.

Sutton said there is a well-documented corollary between exposure to chromium-6 and a greater risk of stomach cancer in humans. Additionally, there is ample animal evidence showing a broad risk of gastrointestinal tumors in rats and mice exposed to the toxin, she said.

Worse, skipping tap water in favor of bottled water does not guarantee you'll be protected.

"Bottled water is not necessarily any safer than tap water," said Sutton. "We just don't have any guarantee that hexavalent chromium isn't in that water."

So how can you protect yourself? Sutton says your best bet is buying an effective water filter.

"Getting the water filter is a great way to protect yourself and your family," says Sutton. "It's a step you can take yourself; you don't have to wait for government action."

Samples from the test provided a "one-time snapshot" of water systems that serve 26 million people, the Environmental Working Group said. But the organization said the results show that more federal regulation of the cancer-causing chemical is needed.

The National Toxicology Program has said that chromium-6 in drinking water shows "clear evidence of carcinogenic activity."

California's state environmental agency has proposed capping levels of the chemical in drinking water at 0.06 parts per billion. The Environmental Working Group said 25 of the cities it tested showed exceeded that level.

To conduct its test, the organization said it recruited volunteers in 35 cities to collect tap water samples "from unfiltered taps in homes or in public buildings such as hospitals, libraries and malls," the report said.

Here are the cities

1. Norman, Oklahoma
2. Honolulu, Hawaii
3. Riverside, California
4. Madison, Wisconsin
5. San Jose, California
6. Tallahassee, Florida
7. Omaha, Nebraska
8. Albuquerque, New Mexico
9. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
10. Bend, Oregon
11. Salt Lake City, Utah
12. Ann Arbor, Michigan
13. Atlanta, Georgia
14. Los Angeles, California
15. Bethesda, Maryland
16. Phoenix, Arizona
17. Washington, D.C.
18. Chicago, Illinois
19. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
20. Villanova, Pennsylvania
21. Sacramento, California
22. Louisville, Kentucky
23. Syracuse, New York
24. New Haven, Connecticut
25. Buffalo, New York
26. Las Vegas, Nevada
27. New York, New York
28. Scottsdale, Arizona
29. Miami, Florida
30. Boston, Massachusetts
31. Cincinnati, Ohio

Not detectable: Indianapolis, Indiana; Plano, Texas; Reno, Nevada; San Antonio, Texas
For the levels in these cities, check this graph.


soundoff (536 Responses)
  1. Brian

    "Bottled water is not necessarily any safer than tap water," says Sutton. "We just don't have any guarantee that hexavalent chromium isn't in that water."............

    So – are they going to test the bottle water??? This article reads like a commercial for filters.

    December 20, 2010 at 09:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. DrFood

    Is the carcinogen present in high enough concentrations to pose a health risk? Maybe the EPA will tell us...oh wait, the EPA hasn't established a threshold. EPA FAIL!

    December 20, 2010 at 09:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Conrad Shull

      The EPA is pretty much unable to determine safe or unsafe levels of anything (asbestos exposure, for instance). It's not really a science organization, it is a political one.

      December 20, 2010 at 09:49 | Report abuse |
    • Fernando1958

      imagine all the money the Government saves in Social Security when people die young.
      no wonder then don't have interest in fixing the problems.

      December 20, 2010 at 10:11 | Report abuse |
  3. porkchops

    I just clicked the link (in the 3rd paragraph) and it works fine. Saw the cities affected etc.. Btw, everyone should have a water filter. The "on the faucet" kind is better than nothing. Too much industrial waste going into the ground not to have some sort of filtration. And bottled water comes from a tap and puts too much plastic in the landfills.

    December 20, 2010 at 09:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. J

    It's way worse than we think. From what I understand, most cities are tainted with DHMO, a dangerous chemical that can cause all sorts of conditions, including death.

    December 20, 2010 at 09:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. George K

    i been useing the "Zero" filter and love it

    December 20, 2010 at 10:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Dan

    For the list of cities (31 of 35) click on the blue words, 31 of 35 American cities on the first paragraph..

    December 20, 2010 at 10:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Don't Worry!

    If you trust the EPA and the Clean Water Act (as an environmental engineer, I do), the national standard is 100 parts per billion (http://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/basicinformation/chromium.cfm). Even the most contaminated drinking water (Norman, OK) is nearly 10 times BELOW the national limit. Long term exposure is what increases cancer risk. At does of 10 ppb or even lower, there is low risk of acquiring cancer from chromium VI.

    December 20, 2010 at 10:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Cole

      Thanks for that info. I was wondering what some of the other (outside of California) standards were.

      December 20, 2010 at 10:09 | Report abuse |
    • Se777en

      That's a requirement for chromium in general. (chromium 3 and chromium 6 combined). They don't normally test specifically for chromium 6.

      December 20, 2010 at 12:41 | Report abuse |
  8. Fernando1958

    so all that money in trying to find a cure for cancer could be use to make the water cleaner in the first place.
    I assume prevention is always better than trying to solve the problem later. Somebody must be making tons
    of money from all those donations.

    December 20, 2010 at 10:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Spuds

      Think again – about who is making all the money – the pharmaceutical industry!!! Look into it and you will find they practically run this country. Got a problem? we throw a drug at it – that drug may have side effects that will kill you but it'll cure the problem. Open a Time Magazine – the ads for drugs are 2 or more full pages. Vimovo, arthritis medication – this week's time – the ad is 4 pages long! Why are pharmaceutical companies telling us what to ask our Dr. for? Because we let them. Because we have become reliant on drugs to 'cure' a problem instead of looking at what causes the problems in the first place. You want to help yourself stop drinking SODA pop! Coke saw record increases in profits THIS year in the USA – they are laughing all the way to the bank and we are getting fatter and fatter and sicker and sicker.

      December 21, 2010 at 08:12 | Report abuse |
  9. cindy

    a-duh, where's the list, am i dying right now, a-duh. everything is low on it, i'll give you dummies that much. you're more likely to die from a falling piece of poo from an airplane, knuckleheads!

    December 20, 2010 at 10:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Worf's Baby Mama

    I hate reading these articles that don't seem to have all the facts listed. So they're saying that there are harmful toxins in several cities. I believe it; however, how serious is it? How alarmed do I need to be? Have there been significant reports of death and serious illness? That's kind of important to know. Yes, I understand this toxin has been known to cause cancer but are there any reports of this happening? Has there been a significant increase of cancer instances in and around these cities? I mean, I guess you can't say, "Poison in water, but everybody's fine."

    I think this article is purposely alarmist for no reason. You're telling me there are harmful toxins in tap water that are "likely to be carcinogenic." What does "likely" mean? There is a "greater risk" of stomach cancer. So does this mean that risk has gone from one in a billion to one in a million? Or is it now one in ten? The article also mentions that animals have been exposed. Is there any evidence there is significant death and illness in the wildlife population that should cause a great concern to the human population? And lo and behold, my bottled water might be unsafe. How does this scientist know? Did she also test random samples of bottled water? I think perhaps this idea has merit because who really does know where they are getting that water from, but you can't just come out with some wild accusations without evidence.

    So don't drink the tap water or the bottled water, but thankfully, you have a list of approved water filters. Who paid for this article to be written?

    December 20, 2010 at 10:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. publius enigma

    One day they say tap water is safer than bottled water and a week later they report something like this. Something isnt adding up with their science!

    December 20, 2010 at 10:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Marconi Darwin

      The trouble with science is that conclusions may change when observations change. If you are bothered with that, stick to religion, and trust God when you drink.

      But if you are not, consider that the tap water *was* safe to drink, *is* probably still safe to drink, but that you have additional information. Additional information is A Good Thing.

      December 20, 2010 at 17:23 | Report abuse |
  12. Mike

    Does anybody else feel like this was just a commercial for water filters?

    December 20, 2010 at 10:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • pam da gram

      I just put in a very expensive water system to get rid of the high amount of c.b.,, and the man said you will be able to bottle the water when we are done.. guess what ,,, didnt do a thing ,, had the water tested again,, same thing,, I live right down the road from where they bottle aquafina water,,, The water is full of bac,, due to gas fracking....watch the movie,, gasland by josh fox.. google it,, you will be really sick

      December 20, 2010 at 11:49 | Report abuse |
  13. JBS

    Get over the hate of bottled water. Tap water is clearly not the same quality and this is why I drink bottled!

    December 20, 2010 at 10:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • alrighty then

      What makes you so certain, and what criteria are you using to judge the water? What's the source of the bottled water (spring, surface, surface-influenced spring, well)? What sort of testing has been done on your bottled water? What disinfection process did they use? How have they guaranteed biological agents will not populate post-bottling?

      I can answer all those questions because my local municipal water provider completes all that testing and more, and supplies the results of those tests to the state EPA and to homeowners. They allow public tours of their facilities to educate the population on water treatment processes. They are heavily regulated and accountable to state authorities, while bottled water providers are not. I'm more than happy to live with a slight chlorine or sodium hypochlorite residual knowing those oxidants are keeping biological agents in check throughout the distribution system.

      Unless you are testing each bottle of water for dozens of parameters at the minimum, then you have no idea what you are ingesting.

      December 20, 2010 at 11:15 | Report abuse |
    • pam da gram

      check that water.. you will have more c.b. then the tap. check the source of the well they are using,,, surely you cant believe bottle water is clear of a bac,, reused plastic,,, yum

      December 20, 2010 at 11:52 | Report abuse |
  14. Stuart E

    According to the Los Angeles Times, the rate of cancers in Hinkley is fewer than expected. It looks like a cancer cluster did not develop.

    http://reason.com/blog/2010/12/13/erin-brockovich-town-shows-no

    December 20, 2010 at 10:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Stuart E

      Here is the link to the original L.A. Times article (but also check at the one from Reason):

      http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/wire/sns-ap-us-toxic-water-brockovich,0,2212567.story

      December 20, 2010 at 10:31 | Report abuse |
    • Miami71

      So you are going to post a blog website? So much for research. Blogs are so unreliable. They may be able to guide you but do the real research before you go minimizing things.

      December 20, 2010 at 10:47 | Report abuse |
  15. Kevin

    Don't expect Republicans to do anything about this.

    December 20, 2010 at 10:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. publius enigma

    First they say drinking bottled water is no guarantee of getting no chromium, then they say that to protect yourself get a filter. Well guess what? All bottled water is filtered (except the most disgustingly cheapest brands maybe). It really seems like they wrote this article being careful to not promote bottled water and hang the facts.

    December 20, 2010 at 10:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Alexis

    OH MY GOD, PEOPLE. The link that says "recent study" takes you to the page where EVERYTHING is detailed, but assuming you have the IQ of an orange, here's the damn list and stop asking.

    The proposed limit is 0.06 ppb (parts per billion).

    (City) – (Concentration in ppb)
    Norman, OK – 12.90
    Honolulu, HI – 2.00
    Riverside, CA – 1.69
    Madison, WI – 1.58
    San Jose, CA – 1.34
    Tallahassee, FL – 1.25
    Omaha, NE – 1.07
    Albuquerque, NM – 1.04
    Pittsburgh, PA – 0.88
    Bend, OR – 0.78
    Salt Lake City, UT – 0.30
    Ann Arbor, MI – 0.21
    Atlanta, GA – 0.20
    Los Angeles, CA – 0.20
    Bethseda, MD – 0.19
    Phoenix, AZ – 0.19
    Washington, D.C. – 0.19
    Chicago, IL – 0.18
    Milwaukee, WI – 0.18
    Villanova, PA – 0.18
    Sacramento, CA – 0.16
    Louisville, KY – 0.14
    Syracuse, NY – 0.12
    New Haven, CT – 0.08
    Buffalo, NY – 0.07

    The following cities showed amounts of hexavalent chromium at or below the proposed limit:
    Las Vegas, NV – 0.06
    New York, NY – 0.06
    Scottsdale, AZ – 0.05
    Miami, FL – 0.04
    Boston, MA – 0.03
    Cincinnati, OH – 0.03

    The following cities had no chromium detected:
    Indianapolis, IN
    Piano, TX
    Reno, NV
    San Antonio, TX

    Next time, please learn to follow links. This is the internet.

    December 20, 2010 at 10:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Miami71

      Houston, we have a sharper tool in the shed! Thank you Alexis. I was beginning to wonder if anyone of basic intelligence was going to respond. Thanks.

      December 20, 2010 at 10:49 | Report abuse |
    • pam da gram

      I live just south of buffalo ny, and have alot more tha .07 in my water that I just had tested last week, because me and my husband were very sick,, than the dog got sick,, we connected the water, and have now put a water system in,, and if the water comes back bad again,, the system is coming out... There is awomen in spingville ny,, that can set her water on fire,,, due to fracking, the gaswells in her area,,, n ITS FRACKING.. watch the movie gasland by josh fox.. can be googled..

      December 20, 2010 at 11:42 | Report abuse |
    • publius enigma

      Perhaps you and someone that doesnt know links but does know how to be nice could get together and teach each other something.

      December 20, 2010 at 12:05 | Report abuse |
  18. Rick

    Yeah yeah, blame the GOVERNMENT for it all. Don't forget its capitalist private industry that's polluting our water. Oklahoma is in the crosshairs because it is a very red conservative state with few regulations. That's why OK now has superfund cleanup sites like Gore, and Picher, where lead levels are astronomical and Picher is essentially abandoned now.
    There's a landfill in Oklahoma City that has been off limits for 30 years because of heavy metals contamination and its unlikely to ever be safe in 100 years.

    December 20, 2010 at 10:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Rob P.

    Try clicking on the link starting with the 4th word of the story...that should help get a list as you scroll down.
    It says "31 of 35..." In short, we're all doomed. Drink beer like those in the Middle Ages did to avoid bad water.

    December 20, 2010 at 10:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. What Cities

    What a covert way of getting an important and obvious life-saving message across! The writer of this article fails in listing the other cities affected therefore, this article is worth next to nothing and only serves but a heads-up to do your own work in identifying the cities affected with the dangerous chemical in the water.

    December 20, 2010 at 10:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Miami71

    You people that are whining about no list need to get a grip. The link is in the text and is plainly highlighted in blue. Duh! Are any of you really surprised that our water is contaminated? Did you think that the fkn movie Erin Brokovich was going to make everything better? That's what's wrong with America. Everyone just wants to go along in life minding their own business and NEVER get involved in their own communities and make sure that government and BIG Business are doing the right thing. Maybe if everyone got involved at least at a local level the corporations that do the polluting would be held accountable for their reckless behavior. Taking your head out of your ass works really well.

    December 20, 2010 at 10:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. dike

    Again what level of Chromium-6? Giving little information and scare tactics. Anyways I never liked the taste of tap water and installed a reverse osmosis system and love that water, Even bottled water has a distinct taste in that I can differentiate and avoid. A little investment on a RO system is worth the speculative risks.
    D

    December 20, 2010 at 10:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Goyater

    Where are the cities this article is talking about?? List them in the article!!!

    December 20, 2010 at 10:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. bailoutsos

    For our drinking water I have a 3 stage filter system along with reverse osmosis.

    December 20, 2010 at 10:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. jeff-minneapols

    There_is_a link for the cities... ^_^

    December 20, 2010 at 10:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. chris

    Boy, most of your people do not know how to use a computer. Guess what? When you see words like "31 of 35 American cities" highlighted in blue in the first sentence of an article with black type, you click on it. It's called something really exotic you probably never heard of before: A LINK!!! Ring a bell?

    Dumb bells.

    December 20, 2010 at 10:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Edwin

    Since 88.5% of the cities tested exceeded the safe threshold, it is reasonable to assume that most U.S. cities (including those not tested) also fail. Statistically, between 77% and 99% of U.S. cities will test positive for chromium-6 (using +4 proportion methods).

    The moral: it is very likely to be in your water supply - assuming you live in a city.

    December 20, 2010 at 10:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Dante

    THE LIST OF CITIES IS A LINK IN THE ARTICLE YOU MORONS!!!

    December 20, 2010 at 10:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Miami71

      Thank you, thank you, thank you Dante!!! And we want to know what's wrong with America? This is the tip of the iceberg.

      December 20, 2010 at 10:51 | Report abuse |
    • jack frost

      Do a search online, make an effort to help yourself.

      December 20, 2010 at 10:54 | Report abuse |
  29. jack frost

    We need to control and give more oversite to companies at new level, that when a company polutes the CEO and Presidents and board of directors are arrested and jailed for life, because they cause a life of damage.
    Enough the consumerism, time to turn this around and make good healthy products or control pollution, the race to design and build products is driving the earth into places we will not be able to live soon. This soon could be within 20 to 40 years.

    December 20, 2010 at 10:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Milton

    I trust very little of what I read in the press, and treat it as a starting point. News organizations are not in the business (remember, it is a business and they must be profitable to stay in business) of reporting the news, they are in the business of SELLING their version of the news. For some perspective, please read: http://stats.org/stories/2009/Are%20Chemicals%20PRESS%20RELEASE.pdf

    December 20, 2010 at 11:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Marcia

    A factual finding or just a conveniently fabricated study?

    Iraq
    In 2008, the defense contractor KBR was alleged to have exposed 16 members of the Indiana National Guard, as well as its own workers, to hexavalent chromium in Iraq in 2003. Later, 433 members of the Oregon National Guard's 162nd Infantry Battalion were informed of possible exposure to hexavalent chromium while escorting KBR contractors. One of the National Guard Soldiers, David Moore died in February 2008. The cause was lung disease at age 42. His death was ruled service-related. His brother believes it was hexavalent chromium.

    Conveniently, just before bring the troops back from Middle East service, the United States suddenly releases a report from the “Environmental Working Group” on US drinking water contamination:

    In 2010, the Environmental Working Group studied the drinking water in 35 American cities. The study was the first nationwide analysis measuring the presence of the chemical in U.S. water systems. The study found measurable hexavalent chromium in the tap water of 31 of the cities sampled, with Norman, Oklahoma at the top of list; 25 cities had levels that exceeded California's proposed limit.

    It seems that the timing of this study couldn’t be better. Just before our service men and women return from Middle East service in 2011, this study will help to obfuscate the true source of potential future service-related deaths. With publically confounding factors such as this, it seems that this study will help to ensure that our government and health insurance companies will both be found non-culpable for hexavalent chromium related deaths, and our service families will once again find that they have nowhere to turn for help.

    If CNN is truly a top notch news firm, CNN will discuss the complete facts of this matter at one time including the 2008 service related exposures, along with the recent 2010 studies, and ask the questions that this study will surely raise. This would be a good story to be covered by Dr. Sanjay Gupta

    December 20, 2010 at 11:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Marconi Darwin

      Conveniently fabricated leftist Muslim myth. Norman people should ignore this, and show the government who's boss.

      December 20, 2010 at 17:34 | Report abuse |
  32. Harold Mason

    They have been poisoning our water in every city in the country,not just the cities on the list.They are poisoning our food as well!!

    December 20, 2010 at 11:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Colin in Florida

    Folks, if you read the article at the EWG (which has the list of cities), you will see that some Chrome 6 is from factories, but some is naturally occurring. Not saying either is good for you, but also keep in mind that California limits on most chemicals are much lower than they are anywhere else in the world-remember, this is the 'nanny' state, with no happy meals!

    Here's the relevant part of the article: "Hexavalent chromium (or chromium-6) gets into water supplies after being discharged from steel and pulp mills as well as metal-plating and leather-tanning facilities. It can also pollute water through erosion of soil and rock."

    December 20, 2010 at 11:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Harold Mason

    (CNN) Criminal News Network.

    December 20, 2010 at 11:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. shibbygirl

    population control?

    December 20, 2010 at 11:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. M

    Come on guys! It's "toxin" not "toxic". I saw the mistake twice in this article. Please invest in a proofreader.

    December 20, 2010 at 11:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. RonK

    CNN has reported on this all morning yet nothing about whether or not distilling water is or is not a solution! Why?

    December 20, 2010 at 11:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. guest

    I would feel better if the authors of the study describe the review process, if any. Allow the scientific process to play out and submit the article for peer-review. The claims of the authors will be much more valid if accepted by the scientific community as opposed to CNN's experts!

    December 20, 2010 at 11:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. pam da gram

    I HAVE CHROM. BAC,IN MY WATER.. WAS MAKING ME AND MY HUSBAND VERY SICK,, EVEN THE DOG,, THAT IS HOW WE KNEW IT WAS THE WATER,, YES THERE ARE TOXINS EVERYWHERE, BUT WATCH THE MOVIE GASLAND, BY JOSH FOX. YOU CAN GOOGLE THAT.. THERE IS A LADY IN SPRINGVILLE NEW YORK, THAT CAN SET HER WATER ON FIRE.. DUE TO FRACKING. MOST OF MY INFO CAME FROM CNN. I HAVE RECENTLY SPENT THOUSANDS TO CLEAN UP MY WATER AND I CANNOT.....THE GAS COMPANIES WILL DESTROY OUR WATER.. THIS BAC. WILL SHUT DOWN YOUR KIDNEYS,, CAUSE SKIN IRRATION,,BOILS,,PAINS THROUGH OUT THE BODY,, STOMACH PROBLEMS,, AND RESPITORY DISTRESS..THIS IS NOT JUST A SMALL PROBLEM...AND NO=ONE,,NO=ONE==WANTS TO HELP.

    December 20, 2010 at 11:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Alex

      Chromium makes you write in all uppercase.

      December 20, 2010 at 13:37 | Report abuse |
  40. Mel

    The list is right there in the first sentence, people: http://www.ewg.org/chromium6-in-tap-water/findings

    December 20, 2010 at 11:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. dgatwood

    Why are my comments not showing up?

    December 20, 2010 at 11:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dgatwood

      Well, that one showed up, so I'll post my original reply as a reply to my reply. In two parts since it was probably a length limit or something stupid.

      This is reckless and irresponsible journalism.

      1. Water filters do not perfectly filter water.

      2. Most bottled water is produced using distillation, which should result in perfect elimination of heavy metals like hexavalent chromium. Therefore most bottled water is pretty much guaranteed to be free of hexavalent chromium unless they use untreated local tap water to rinse out the bottles or something.

      December 20, 2010 at 19:08 | Report abuse |
    • dgatwood

      3. The U.S. EPA most certainly *does* have standards for hexavalent chromium in drinking water. That limit is 100 parts per billion. The more paranoid California standard is 50 parts per billion. Even the most contaminated of these cities (Norman, Oklahoma) only had contamination of 12.90 parts per billion-about one fourth of the California limits and an eighth of the federal limits. The vast majority of the cities had less than one part per billion.

      4. Some sites have incorrectly stated that California is proposing a new limit of 0.06 parts per billion. That is not correct. California has issued a public health *goal* that is 200 times lower. Public health goals are not regulatory standards. California's standard might be 0.06 ppb in a few decades, but for the near future, the California limit will continue to be 50 ppb.

      December 20, 2010 at 19:09 | Report abuse |
  42. Glenn

    Treat em like the carrots you didn't like as a kid and eat around those molecules. Sheesh problem solved.

    December 20, 2010 at 11:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. mike

    Wow The Gov't's both federal and state have been INTENTIONALLY putting Flouride in your water for years, telling you it is good for your TEETH, AND NO ONE CARES!!!!!! They also lie to you about your mercury fillings AND NO ONE CARES. Buy reverse osmosis water if you are concerned. This country ruins EVERYTHING in the name of money. And by the way, if you don't like it VOTE. If you don't vote then keep out of the conversation.

    December 20, 2010 at 11:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. I. G. Noramus

    This is all the excuse you need to switch from water (ugh) to beer or wine. I'll drink to that!

    December 20, 2010 at 12:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. StupidityApparentlyRules

    To all the people bashing the writer, the link to the list (bar graph) is in the first sentence of the article. Get a brain!

    December 20, 2010 at 12:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. John

    View the cities here: http://static.ewg.org/reports/2010/chrome6/us-map.png

    December 20, 2010 at 12:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Louis Eastwell

    I'm just glad I live
    in the Uk where you don't get cancer after drinking the water! Lol

    December 20, 2010 at 12:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Danram

    This is PRECISELY why I buy my drinking water in bottles these days and have for a long time. Not only does it taste a LOT better than tap water, but I simply don't trust it to be safe. I'll shower in it, I'll use it to clean the house, but I absolutely will NOT drink it nor will I give it to my pets.

    December 20, 2010 at 12:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Angie38

      If you'll read the article a little closer, it also says that BOTTLED water may not be any safer than the tap. You should get a filter. I have been using one for a couple of years now and it's alot cheaper than bottled water and tastes great too.

      December 20, 2010 at 13:32 | Report abuse |
  49. Random Pedestrian

    This report contains some misleading information. It says "Although the Environmental Protection Agency does not require water utilities to test for chromium-6, and has not established a legal threshold for how much can be in our water, the agency has classified the toxin as "likely to be carcinogenic to humans."
    The EPA does require water utilities to test for "total chromium" which includes hexavalent chromium, chromium-3 and chromium-0. So, essentially, the current legal limit for hexavalent chromium is the same as for total chromium (100 parts per billion).
    I don't believe the article successfully portrayed this important information.

    December 20, 2010 at 12:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Jon

    OMG!!! Al Qaida is poisoning our water supply!!! Let's retaliate, for FREEDOM!!!!

    What? It's not Al Qaida? It's Corporate America? Well, carry on, then.

    December 20, 2010 at 12:42 | Report abuse | Reply
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