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SOURCE - Spring 2013

www.ca-nv-awwa.org 21 Cr(VI) Regulatory Update Erin Brockovich became famous and made a bunch of money off of chromium, but the customers of drinking water utilities will end up having to pay for it... The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is in the final stages of creating a drinking water standard for hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)). Because the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has set a Public Health Goal for Cr(VI) at 0.02 ug/L, the Cr(VI) Maximum Contaminant Level is surely going to be much lower than the current California total chromium MCL of 50 ug/L. So California drinking water systems have to be ready to get their chromium out. Cr(VI) is an oxidant that can damage your tissues if they are exposed to it. We know that Cr(VI) can cause human lung and other cancers from inhalation of plating mists, smelter fumes, antioxidant paints and other concentrated forms in air. It can also lead to mouth and intestinal cancers in lab animals from ingestion of high doses in water. While we don’t really know what happens to people drinking low levels of Cr(VI) in drinking water, we have to be cautious. Chromium in drinking water is generally from natural sources. It is typically found in source water in either the toxic hexavalent (Cr(VI)) form, the nutrient trivalent (CrIII) form, or in some cases as chromium metal (chrome-plated car parts). Virtually all water By Bruce Macler, EPA Region 9 The Water Research Foundation hosted a Cr(VI) workshop on February 4, featuring results from a number of collaborative research projects and examining issues related to chromium compliance, including potential cost effects. The following is based on presentations made at the Water RF workshop. Further information is available on the Foundation’s collaborative Web site, http://collab.waterrf.org) Select abstracts from the conference are at the end of this article. Continued on page 28


SOURCE - Spring 2013
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