A national report that was just released says that dangerous levels of a chemical that could cause cancer is contaminating the tap water for hundreds of MILLIONS of Americans. This isn’t a new issue either. This very serious chemical, chromium-6 has been in our water systems for a long, long time and no one is doing anything about it. Most notably archived, the chemical, chromium-6, was featured in the popular movie “Erin Brockovich.”
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In 1993, Erin Brockavich (Played by Julia Roberts) is an unemployed single mother of three children who is given files for a real-estate case where the Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) is offering to purchase the home of Donna Jensen, a resident of Hinkley California. Erin is surprised to see medical records in the file and visits Donna, who explains that she had simply kept all her PG&E correspondence together.
Donna appreciates PG&E’s help: she has had several tumors and her husband has Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, but PG&E has always supplied a doctor at their own expense. Erin asks why they would do that, and Donna replies, “because of the chromium”. Erin begins digging into the case and finds evidence that the groundwater in Hinkley is seriously contaminated with carcinogenic hexavalent chromium but PG&E has been telling Hinkley residents that they use a safer form of chromium.
Over time, Erin Brockovich visits many Hinkley residents and wins their trust. She finds many cases of tumors and other medical problems in Hinkley. Everyone has been treated by PG&E’s doctors and thinks the cluster of cases is just a coincidence, unrelated to the “safe” chromium. The Jensens’ claim for compensation grows into a major class action lawsuit as the story progresses.
What Is Chromium-6?
Chromium-6 occurs naturally in our environment (So does lead and arsenic…but that doesn’t make them harmless) but high quantities are also produced by industrial projects. Pollution can occur when these industrial sites fail to follow proper waste disposal methods. The EPA has reported instances of chromium-6 being released into the environment from industrial pollution, leakage, poor storage or inadequate industrial waste disposal practices. Even in small amounts, chromium-6 can cause burns, pneumonia, complications during childbirth and stomach cancer.
Not all forms of chromium are harmful to our health. Chromium-3 is an essential human dietary nutrient and can be found in many vegetables, fruits, meats, grains and yeast. It is known to enhance insulin, as well as help metabolize carbohydrates, fats and proteins, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Chromium-6, however, is a toxic form of the mineral. While this form does occur naturally in the environment, from the erosion of chromium deposits, chromium-6 can also be produced by industrial processes. Studies of chromium-6 have established that breathing the particles can cause lung cancer. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration sets strict limits for levels of airborne chromium-6 in the workplace.
Is Your Water Contaminated With Chromium-6?
Here we stand, 23 years later, and a study was done by Environmental Working Group (EWG).
Chromium-6, story, has been found at higher-than-recommended levels in the tap water supplying two-thirds of all Americans, according to a report from the Environmental Working Group.
EWG, a nonprofit research organization, analyzed Environmental Protection Agency data on more than 60,000 samples collected at water utilities in all 50 states between 2013 and 2015. They found chromium-6 at levels deemed UNSAFE. In the report done by EWG, an interactive map shows which counties were tested and if they tested positive for chromium-6. You can view the map and check out what the levels are in your state right here.
I checked out the state I live in and I was devastated. Not only because I found out Chromium-6 exceeded safe levels (there is no safe level) in my own water supply, but what it meant for the bigger picture. We are getting to the point in this life where we cannot eat the fish out of our seas, the cattle from our farms or drink the water from our faucets.
Other Contaminants Found In Water Supplies
Chromium-6 is getting all of the attention lately, but we can’t turn a blind eye to the rest of the contaminants that creep in our water supplies.
- Pharmaceutical Drugs: Pharmaceuticals, including disastrously hormone-disrupting compounds, are not removed in city water treatment facilities and circulate in the water system.
- Heavy Metals
- Bacteria, Pathogens, Parasites, Fungus, Micro-organisms
- Pesticide and Herbicide Residue
How To Eliminate Cancer-Causing Chromium-6 From Your Drinking Water
You can pick up and move to un-touched areas of the Earth with virgin water supplies! Or…you need to get a high quality water filter. Not all water filters are created equally, so I am going to share with you the brand that I chose after much research (Because who has time to investigate the best water filter during a WATER CRISIS!?)
Yes, this Chromium-6 issue is a crisis. Your internal alarms should be GOING OFF and your red flags should be up and waving. Poor quality drinking water, if left un-fixed can cripple every facet of your health.
Big Berkey Water Filter
Berkey is the brand that I ended up chosing for my family after a lot of research. They come in multiple sizes for different family sizes. We got the “Big Berkey” for our family of 4. (The second size up).
- Black Berkey® Purification Elements are more powerful than any other gravity filter element currently available. The Elements have a unique purification capability that is due to their unique structure. The micro- pores within the Black Berkey®
- Elements are so small that viruses and pathogenic bacteria are simply not able to pass through them.
- Many water filters on the market may claim to be a water purifier, but do not meet the performance specifications required for this classification.
- In order to be classified as a water purifier, a water treatment device must remove at least 99.9999% of pathogenic bacteria and reduce viruses by 99.99%.
- The Black Berkey® Purification Elements can be classified as water purifiers because they remove 99.9999999% of pathogenic bacteria and 99.999% of viruses, which greatly exceeds the standard.
- The Black Berkey®Purification Element formulation has been tested by State and EPA accredited laboratories to exceed NSF/ANSI Standard 53.
The most important aspect of a quality filter is…well…what it filters!!! The Berkey Filters are basically better than they have to be. They filter viruses, bacteria, heavy metals, pharmaceutical drugs and so much more. Check out the complete list below. I have highlighted chromium and chromium-6 in green for easy spotting!
VIRUSES – Removed to >99.999% (Log 5)
Exceeds Purification Standard (Log 4):
MS2 Coliphage ; Fr Coliphage.
PATHOGENIC BACTERIA (AND SURROGATES) – Removed to >99.9999999%
Exceeds Purification Standard (Log 6): Bacillus atrophaeus (Anthrax surrogate); Raoultella terrigena (Pathogenic Bacteria Surrogate); Salmonella Enterica.
TRIHALOMETHANES – Removed to >99.8%
(Below Lab Detectable Limits):
Bromodichloromethane ; Bromoform ; Chloroform ; Dibromochloromethane.
Removed to Below Lab Detectable Limits: Chloramine; Chloride; Chlorine Residual (Total Residual Chlorine); Free Chlorine
HEAVY METALS (HIGH & LOW pH LEVELS)
Aluminum (>99%); Antimony (>99.9%); Barium (>80%); Beryllium (>99.9%); Bismuth (>99.9%); Cadmium (>99.7%); Cobalt (>95%); Chromium (>99.9%); Chromium 6 (>99.85%); Copper (>99.9%); Iron (>99.9%); Lead (>99.9%); Mercury (>99.9%); Molybdenum (>90%); Nickel (>99.9%); Vanadium (>87.5%); Zinc (>99.9%).
PHARMACEUTICAL DRUGS CONTAMINANTS – Removed to >99.9%
Acetaminophen; Caffeine; Carbamazepine; Ciprofloxacin HCl; Erythromycin USP; Sulfamethoxazole; Trimethoprim; Bisphenol A; Diclofenac Sodium; 4-para-Nonylphenol; 4-tert-Octylphenol; Primidone; Progestrone; Gemfibrozil; Ibuprofen; Naproxen Sodium; Triclosan. Arsenic (>99.9%); Escherichia coli (E. Coli) (>99.999%); Fluorene (>99.9%); Manganese (>99.9%); MBAS (>96.67%); Nitrites (>95%); PCB’s (>99.9%); Petroleum Products (Gasoline, Diesel, Crude Oil, Kerosene, Mineral Spirits, Refined Oil- All >99.9%); Selenium (>99.9%); Thallium (>99.5%); Rust; Silt; Sediment; Turbidity; Foul Tastes and Odors.
Cost Estimate: $250-$700 depending on the gallon size, filters and accessories.
Maintenance Factor & Cost: The Berkeys have a lifetime warranty and do require a change of filters which usually need to be changed once a year for a family of 4. Other than the change of filters, the Berkeys are very low maintenance and would only require normal cleaning practices.
Estimated Yearly Maintenance Cost: $100-$160.00. This would be the cost of any filters you would want to replace. Some families go longer than a year before replacing, depending on frequency of use.
Also, don’t forget about your bathing water, too! You can try out the Berkey Shower Filter to get added benefits. Your hair and skin might never feel the same again!
Stay well, my friends!