Monday, December 20, 2010

How Chromium-6 Gets in Our Water


 Chromium is known as the 'Erin Brockovich' chemical since it's hazards were brought to light in a movie by the same name a few years ago.  In the news today results of chromium testing in a number of cities in the U.S.A was released and are frightening.  The 'winner' is Norman, Oklahoma at a whopping 200% above recommendations.

Most reports about chromium-6 doesn't really say how it gets into the water but this is what I found on's from manufacturing and is in everything we purchase, use and drink. It leaches into the soil from abandoned car plants, tanneries, paint companies and maybe the biggest cuprit of all is from the production of electronics.
One of the most important things I read in the information that I found may be passed over by most as insignificant so I have highlighted it.  This could be a piece of the puzzle in the global obesity epidemic and it's about time scientists started to look at WATER as the vehicle of doom..........that statement may be a bit dramatic I admit but they aren't coming up with any answers.
Despite growing evidence of the dangers of hexavalent chromium in tap water, the EPA has done nothing about legal limit requirements. Water utility companies don't even have to test for levels in their tap water.

The average hexavalent chromium levels in the tested tap water was 0.18 ppb, compared to the recommended 0.06 ppb.

Top five cities tested:
  • Norman, Oklahoma, population - 89,952
    Hexavalent chromium level 12.9 ppb
  • Honolulu, Hawaii: population - 661,004
    Hexavalent chromium level 2.00 ppb
  • Riverside, California, population - 280,832
    Hexavalent chromium level 1.69 ppb
  • Madison, Wisconsin, population - 200,814
    Hexavalent chromium level 1.58 ppb
  • San Jose, California, population - 979,000
    Hexavalent chromium level 1.34 ppb
Glass is colored green by the addition of chromium(III) oxide. This is similar to emerald, which is also colored by chromium. A red color is achieved by doping chromium(III) into the crystals of corundum, which are then called ruby. Therefore, chromium is used in producing synthetic rubies.
The toxicity of chromium(VI) salts is used in the preservation of wood. For example, chromated copper arsenate (CCA) is used in timber treatment to prevent wood from decay fungi, wood attacking insects, including termites, and marine borers.
 Tanning-manufacturing of leather products.
Refractory material
The high heat resistivity and high melting point makes chromite and chromium(III) oxide a material for high temperature refractory applications, like blast furnaces, cement kilns, molds for the firing of bricks and as foundry sands for the casting of metals.                                                      
Several chromium compounds are used as catalysts. For example the Phillips catalysts for the production of polyethylene are mixtures of chromium and silicon dioxide or mixtures of chromium and titanium and aluminium oxide. Chromium(IV) oxide (CrO2) is a magnetic compound. Its ideal shape anisotropy, which imparts high coercivity and remanent magnetization, made it a compound superior to the γ-Fe2O3. Chromium(IV) oxide is used to manufacture magnetic tape used in high-performance audio tape and standard audio cassettes. Chromates can prevent corrosion of steel under wet conditions, and therefore chromates are added to drilling muds. Chromium has been suggested to be connected to sugar metabolism, although no biological role for chromium has ever been demonstrated biochemically. The dietary supplements for chromium include chromium(III) picolinate, chromium(III) polynicotinate, and related materials. The benefit of those supplements is still under investigation and is questioned by some studies.
  • Chromium(III) oxide is a metal polish known as green rouge.
  • Chromic acid is a powerful oxidizing agent and is a useful compound for cleaning laboratory glassware of any trace of organic compounds.


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