...need a quick visit from this woman...
High levels of chromium found in Chicago-area tap water
Advocacy group reports level of cancer-causing metal is three times as high as considered safe under a California proposal
The cancer-causing metal made infamous by the movie "Erin Brockovich" is turning up in tap water from Chicago and more than two dozen other cities, according to a new study that urges federal regulators to adopt tougher standards.
Even though scientists at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and National Toxicology Program have linked the ingestion of hexavalent chromium to cancer, the EPA doesn't require Chicago or other cities to test for the toxic metal.
Nor does the EPA limit the dangerous form of chromium in drinking water.
To take a snapshot of what is flowing through taps across the nation, the Environmental Working Group, a Washington-based research and advocacy organization, hired an independent laboratory that found the metal in treated drinking water from 31 cities.
The amount in Lake Michigan water pumped to 7 million people in Chicago and its suburbs was 0.18 parts per billion, three times higher than a safety limit California officials proposed last year.
The Chicago Department of Water Management said tap water is still safe. "Our water ... meets or exceeds all standards set by the EPA," the department said in a prepared statement.
The source of chromium in Chicago drinking water is unclear, though federal records show that some of the nation's biggest industrial sources are four steel mills in northwest Indiana that discharge wastewater into the city's source of drinking water.
Last year alone, records show, the U.S. Steel and Arcelor Mittal mills dumped a combined 3,100 pounds of chromium into Lake Michigan and its tributaries, less than 9 miles away from Chicago's water-intake crib off 68th Street.
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