Aug 14

Unhealthy Levels Of Chromium-6 Found In Chicago’s Tap Water

Tests Confirm High Levels Of The Carcinogen, Chromium-6, In Tap Water

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The results are in and they are hard to swallow: Chicago’s drinking water contains levels of the toxic metal chromium-6 11 times higher than a public health standard established recently in California.

City officials responded to a memo from the EPA in January urging public water departments to check their drinking water for the hazardous compound chromium-6, also called hexavalent chromium — a contaminant perhaps best known from the 2000 film Erin Brockovich and the real-life crusade of its titular character.

Chicago’s Department of Water Management said they would begin quarterly tests for the heavy metal. The Tribune’s Michael Hawthorne reported Saturday on the results.

Test results obtained by the Tribune show that treated Lake Michigan water pumped to 7 million people in Chicago and its suburbs contains up to 0.23 parts per billion of the toxic metal, well above an amount that researchers say could increase the long-term risk of cancer.

The National Toxicology Program’s most recent Report on Carcinogens identifies chromium-6 as a known human carcinogen. Scientists once thought stomach acids converted most chromium-6 into chromium-3 (or trivalent chromium), an essential nutrient. But studies have affirmed the chemical’s link to cancer in animal experiments.

In 1991, EPA established a standard of 100 parts per billion for total chromium, which includes both hexavalent and trivalent chromium. The Obama administration is finishing a scientific review, which may result in the first national standard for the toxic hexavalent variety.

EPA’s own memo came on the heels of a report published by the non-profit Environmental Working Group in December 2010. The report is a snapshot of chromium-6 levels in the water supplies of 35 U.S. cities.

Chicago is one of 25 cities identified in the report with concerning levels of chromium-6. The amount then was 0.18 ppb, over 20 percent less than more recent measurements.

Chromium-6 does occur naturally, but EPA identifies industrial chemical manufacturing and steelworks as major sources of the carcinogen. Lake Michigan’s southern shores in Northwest Indiana are home to several large steel mills, some of which dump wastewater into Chicago’s source of drinking water.

Reverse osmosis filters are a good precaution against water contaminants in general, but cheaper, more widely available carbon filters won’t reduce chromium levels. And no need to stock up on bottled water (again, Hawthorne):

Bottled water is no different. Food and Drug Administration regulations for bottled water limit most of the same contaminants monitored in tap water but are silent when it comes to hexavalent chromium, drug residues or other unregulated substances. Moreover, some brands of bottled water use municipal tap water supplies.

Tap water is still safe to drink in Chicago, city officials urge. Levels are even worse elsewhere. Environmental Working Group’s report found a chromium-6 level of 12.9 parts per billion in Oklahoma city — more than 70 times that found in Chicago.

Posted August 14, 2011 at the Chicagoist.com By Chris Bentley


Jul 23

Multipure 5 Stage Reverse Osmosis – The Most Technically Advanced RO System Available

Water is one of your body’s basic needs. Water is a component of all the fluids in your body, including blood, digestive juices, lymph, sweat and urine. It also supports chemical reactions that regulate life processes.

But water could also quickly turn on you. The United Nations reported on World Water Day that contaminated and polluted water kills more people than violence or war, and that 60 percent of potable water supplies are lost because of leaky pipes and poorly-maintained sewage networks.

As a result, about 2.2 million people succumb to diarrhea, mostly from dirty water. Water-borne diseases have claimed the lives of some 1.8 million children aged under five, or one infant every 20 seconds.

While these deaths come mostly from developing countries, this doesn’t mean that Americans don’t have to worry about the quality of drinking water, Dr. Joseph Mercola warns. You simply can’t tell if your water is free from tap water contaminants just by how it looks, smells or tastes.

Here are 5 dangerous contaminants that may be lurking in your drinking water:

1.    Chlorine and Disinfection Byproducts 
Drinking water disinfected by chlorine in pregnancy can increase the child’s risk of heart problems, cleft palate or major brain defects. On the other hand, disinfection byproducts (DBPs) are formed when the disinfectants used to purify your water, like chlorine, react with natural organic matter like decaying vegetation in water, Dr. Mercola explains. DBPs are more than 10,000 times more toxic than chlorine, making them the worst type of contaminants.
Chlorine has been linked to health problems associated with drinking water but new studies suggest that DBPs, not chlorine, are responsible for almost all of the toxic effects of chlorinated water. The two most common disinfectant byproducts formed when chlorine is used are trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids. Trihalomethanes have been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals and have also been associated with spontaneous abortion, stillbirths and congenital malformations.

2.    Drugs and Hormonally Active Chemicals
A comprehensive survey of drinking water in the U.S. reveals that your drinking water may also contain a number of pharmaceuticals and hormonally active chemicals, Mercola points out. The drugs that you take, or those that are given to livestock, do not necessarily become inert in your body. Some of the active components that are not absorbed are deposited into sewage treatment centers that are not always testing for, or removing, pharmaceuticals. Also, unused prescription drugs are sometimes flushed down the toilet or deposited into landfills by individuals, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies, where they ultimately end up back in the environment.
Among the drugs and chemicals found in tap water were atenolol, a beta-blocker used to treat cardiovascular disease; atrazine, a herbicide banned in Europe linked to the decline of fish population and in changes in animal behavior; meprobamate, a psychiatric tranquilizer; phenytoin, an anticonvulsant, and sulfamethoxazole, an antibiotic.

3.    Fluoride 
Fluoride is one of the toxic chemicals still at large in America. It was actually one of the toxic components evaluated for use in the production of the atomic bomb during World War II. For Dr. Mercola, water fluoridation is absurd and unethical because studies show that this chemical can damage your brain, and your immune, gastrointestinal system and skeletal systems. Fluoride is so dangerous that a family-sized tube of fluoridated toothpaste is toxic enough to kill a 25-lb child.

4.     Heavy Metals 
Heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury and nickel can seep into your water, are inorganic, have relatively high densities and are toxic even at low concentrations.Heavy metal poisoning can cause blood disorders, and brain, kidney and nerve damage. These heavy metals usually accumulate in your water supply through human activity, such as industrial and consumer waste. In homes built before the late 1980s, copper and lead can leach into passing water from water pipes and soldered joints on the way to your tap.

5.    Rocket Fuel
Perchlorate, a component of rocket fuel which is also used in fireworks and road flares, was found in the water supplies of 36 states. This chemical can inhibit the production of thyroid hormones, which are essential for pre- and postnatal development. The Environmental Protection Agency has also found that perchlorate exposure led to the development of thyroid tumors in rats.

Because of the dangers of tap water contaminants, water filtration systems are no longer considered a luxury; they’re health products. For most people a countertop water filter that effectively removes chlorine and inorganic and organic contaminants is the best, most practical and cost-effective choice. A reverse osmosis filter helps remove virtually all tap water contaminants, including fluoride and a muriad of other cancer causing contaminants.

The best water filter that we have found that virtually removes these contaminants is the Multipure MP750Plus RO unit.

The Multipure MP750PlusRO Unit is easy to install and simple to operate. It uses no electricity and the impurities removed through the reverse osmosis process are flushed down the drain. The pre-filter component provides 5 micron filtration to remove large particulate matter and extend the life of the reverse osmosis membrane. The reverse osmosis component reduces the level of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), rust, dirt scale, and organic tastes and odors. The processed water is conveniently stored in a 3 gallon pressurized tank which is small enough to fit neatly under your sink. The post unit, is a solid carbon block filter that is considered to be the most effective method for reducing a wide range of contaminants of health concern, which may be present in the water.  The carbon is compacted into a dense structure, causing every molecule of water to be forced through microscopic pores of carbon, effectively reducing pollutants.  The Solid Carbon Block Filter is a replaceable cartridge designed so that it can be easily changed.  Some additional advantages of the Solid Carbon Block Filter are that it does not waste water, there is no electricity required, it does not remove essential trace minerals that are beneficial to good health, it does not add salt or silver to the water; and it provides fresh, delicious, healthy drinking water.

Multipure’s MP750PlusRO Unit includes pre-filter, RO membrane, and Multi-Pure’s Model MP750SB as a post-filter, giving you the highest quality water possible.

For more info on Multipure’s water filtration systems, visit our website at  www.indianawaterfilters.org