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California Proposes Lower Threshold for Carcinogenic Substance in Drinking Water

Aug 23, 2013

Credit Valley Public Radio

California health officials propose to lower the limits of a heavy-metal often found in drinking water. Health Care Reporter Pauline Bartolone has more from Sacramento.

The California Department of Public Health proposes a regulation that would reduce the allowable level of ‘chromium-6’ in water to five times less than it is now. 

Chromium-six is carcinogenic. The substance is both naturally occurring, and leaks into the water supply from industrial hazardous waste areas.

Public health officials say the standard would be the first specific regulation of chromium-6 in the nation. Dave Mazzera is with the department. 

“Essentially, we hope that it will result in health benefits, and specifically that there will be a reduction of 12 estimated cancer cases in the currently exposed population,” says Mazzera. 

Mazzera says there aren’t any hot spots of chromium-six in the state –levels vary throughout California. A 45-day public comment period on the standard starts this week.