Chromium 6…Are You Drinking It?


Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about chromium 6 (AKA hexavalent chromium) being detected in over 75% of 60,000+ samples of drinking water tested nationwide.

water-testThe tests were required of water utilities throughout the U.S. by the EPA. Samples were taken between 2013 and 2015, with estimates suggesting over 200 million+ Americans being directly exposed to the known carcinogen in their drinking water!

What should you know about chromium 6? Here are some basics to fill you in.

Hexavalent chromium (chromium 6, chromium VI)

  • • is used in electroplating, the production of stainless steel, textile manufacturing, and wood preservation,
  • • is a known cause of cancer (carcinogen) when inhaled,
  • • has been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals when ingested orally, and
  • • has been detected in 75% of the nation’s water utilities.

Chromium 6 in Your Water

You can thank The Environmental Working Group (EWG) for creating an interactive map to help you identify findings of chromium 6 in your own city, county, or neighboring regions. Warning, you may get upset at what you find…or what you can’t find.

In all objectivity, remember, these results are from samples submitted between the years 2013 to 2015. For updated results, contact your local water utility and ask for their latest consumer confidence report.

tbg-chromium-6-post-txIn my own Harris County, Texas, I’ve discovered that out of the 854 samples tested, 600 tested positive for hexavalent chromium. That’s over 70% of those samples with chromium 6! If those samples currently reflected the population’s access to the sources of those drinking water samples, we’re looking at 3.22 million of Harris County’s 4.6 million residents being exposed daily to hexavalent chromium. Unsettling?

Of the county’s 48 water utility systems tested, 46 tested positive for chromium 6…a whopping 95.8%! Anyone care for a glass of tap water?

To get even more specific, my neighboring City of Humble detected the carcinogen in 100% of the submitted samples, 28/28. The average parts per billion were 0.55, ranging from 0.08-0.88 parts per billion.

As far as maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) set by the EPA, they’ve only defined a total chromium MCL of 100ppb in drinking water. The National Toxicology Program references that several states have set limits of 50ppb of total chromium in drinking water. As far as I’ve found, California is the only state with a defined MCL of 10ppb or 0.010-milligram per liter.

What Can You Do?

  1. Request updated results of your area’s water quality from your local water utility. Even if you don’t drink the tap water, you bathe in it & likely brush your teeth with it!
  2. Use Black Berkey® elements to purify the water you use for cooking, drinking, and hygiene. Testing has confirmed that the Black Berkey® elements (manufactured by New Millennium Concepts, Ltd.) remove greater than 99.8% of chromium 6 from tainted water. The total amount of chromium 6 removed from the samples by the Black Berkeys® may actually be greater than 99.8%. This is because the lab’s testing equipment had reached its readable testing limit, maxing out at 99.8% removal.
  3. Petition your local representatives and utility companies to reduce chromium 6’s presence in your water supply.
  4. Share this information within your circle of influence. Everyone deserves to know what they can do to maximize their health.


EWG’s Interactive Map

EWG’s Article on Chromium 6 in US Tap Water

EPA’s Write-up on Chromium 6

Hexavalent Chromium Download by National Toxicology Program

Hexavalent Chromium in Wikipedia

National Toxicology Program’s Download on Chromium 6

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2 Responses to Chromium 6…Are You Drinking It?

  1. Phil October 3, 2016 at 7:46 am #

    May I assume the same 99.8% reduction of chromium 6 results are available with the white Ceramic filters??

    • jeff October 3, 2016 at 8:11 am #

      Currently only the Black Berkey elements have been tested to remove Chromium 6.

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