Revise Limits for Cancer-Causing Carcinogen in Drinking Water


Target: California State Department of Public Health

Goal: Revise proposed limits for chromium-6, a dangerous carcinogen, in California’s drinking water

Chromium-6, the dangerous carcinogen made famous by Erin Brockovich, is about to affect millions of California residents.  The state Department of Public Health has proposed a drinking water standard for chromium-6 five hundred times higher than California Department of Public Health’s goal.  The standard is inadequate for reducing the public’s exposure to elevated levels of the carcinogen, and must be changed to a safer level.

Although chromium-6, or hexavalent chromium, has been recognized as a carcinogen when inhaled for many years, there is now evidence showing that it is carcinogenic when ingested orally.  California is proposing 10 parts per billion, well above the recommended 0.2 parts per billion estimated to be safe for human consumption.  This standard would leave California unaccountable for cleaning up the already contaminated 1,000-plus drinking water systems that serve over twenty two million people.

This chemical compound is used in the production of textile dyes, stainless steel, leather preservative, and as an anti-corrosive agent.  It is clear why concern about cancer from this compound is mounting, especially given that the state of California was expected to establish legal standard for it back in 2004.  Because leaders failed to meet that deadline, they are setting one now, nine years later.  The only problem is how hazardous their proposal is.

The proposed level of chromium-6 in California’s drinking water is too dangerous for people to be ingesting.  Citizens should have access to clean water, and that access should not be affected by the negligence of state leaders.  Demand that the Department of Health lower its proposed standard for chromium-6 to a safe level, helping prevent cancer and other related diseases.


Dear California State Department of Public Health,

The proposed amount of chromium-6 in your drinking water supply is dangerous to your residents’ health.  The carcinogen is responsible for increased risk of lung cancer, among other ailments such as ulcers and intestinal irritation.  By proposing five hundred times the limit deemed safe for human consumption, you are only contributing to the failing health of your citizens.

Changing your proposal is an opportunity to become a leader in a major national public health concern.  As the first state to adopt a standard regarding chromium-6, you should be providing a positive example for other states to adopt.  It is unacceptable to provide a standard that will put so many people at risk, especially after taking nine years to do it.  Change your legal standard of chromium-6 in drinking water for the safety and health of your people.


[Your Name Here]

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