Hexavalent Chromium prompts Tap Water Safety concerns

Hexavalent Chromium in US Tap Water

If you’ve heard anything about hexavalent chromium in tap water, it was probably from the movie Erin Brockovich. In that film, the legal clerk and environmental activist Erin Brockovich (as played by Julia Roberts) built a case against California’s Pacific Gas and Electric litigation alleging that the cancer-causing hexavalent chromium the company was using to fight corrosion in cooling towers had seeped into the ground water of Hinkley, California.

Since settling that case in 1996, Brockovich has continued to work on cases involving hexavalent chromium. Just last year, she began investigating a case in Midland, Texas and assisted in filing a lawsuit against Prime Tanning Corp. of St. Joseph, Missouri. And if recent tests are any indication, Erin Brockovich and others like her might soon be swamped with similar cases.

Recent laboratory tests commisioned by the Environmental Working Group have found hexavalent chromium in the tap water of 31 cities. More disturbing still is the fact that the tap water from only 35 cities was sampled for the cancer-causing chemical, meaning it was found in 89 percent of the cities tested. The EWG estimates that 74 million Americans in 42 states could be drinking tap water that is polluted with chromium or its carcinogenic form, hexavalent chromium.

Hexavalent chromium is also known as Chromium-6 or Chromium (VI), though many refer to it as the “Erin Brockovich chemical”. It is the cancer-causing variant of chromium. The Environmental Protection Agency  allows for 100 parts per billion of total chromium in drinking water, but it has not set a safe or acceptable limit for hexavalent chromium. As such, water utility companies are not required to test for hexavalent chromium. California is the only state that requires such testing, and it has set a legal limit of .06 parts per billion. Of the 31 cities that had hexavalent chromium, 25 cities had levels higher than that amount.

However, there is no set limit for chromium-6, and water utility companies are not required to test for it. California is the only state that mandates testing, and that state’s legal limit for chromium-6 in drinking water is .06 ppb. Sutton and her colleagues found that 25 of the 31 cities with chromium-6 contaminated water had levels higher than that amount.

In an ideal world, the EPA would set legal limits for every state and require that water utilities test to ensure hexavalent chromium doesn’t enter our tap water. But as Erin Brockovich knows all too well, we don’t live in an ideal world. So how do you remove hexavalent chromium from tap water? Many reverse osmosis systems will remove chromium-6, as well as other contaminants.

Our Pentek RO-3500 Reverse Osmosis System reduces 86.6 percent of hexavalant chromium and 92.8 percent of trivalent chromium. What a RO system removes or reduces depends entirely on the filters and membranes used. We do carry many reverse osmosis membranes that reduce hexavalent chromium, so if you have an existing RO system and want to ensure you reduce chromium-6, please give us a call at 866-438-3458 or e-mail us at sales@filtersfast.com.

Not sure if you should be concerned? Our eXact Micro 7+ Standard Photometer Kit allows you to test water for hexavalent chromium and many other contaminants.

Christmas Trees Can Make You Sneeze

Christmas trees and decorations may trigger allergiesIf you suffer from asthma and allergies, you may be more sensitive to the irritation caused by Christmas trees and holiday decorations this year. Trees have been known to trigger allergies for several reasons. Some people are allergic to a substance in evergreen sap that is released when the branches or trunk are cut. Trees may also carry mold or pollen on their branches. Moreover, artificial trees will collect dust in the time leading up to Christmas, unless stored in airtight containers.

One article suggests several ways to ensure your holiday is allergy-free. Make sure all holiday decorations are cleaned outside before bringing them into indoor living areas, as air quality is often worse indoors. In addition, cleaning regularly can help you avoid breathing in air contaminants. Consider a HEPA vacuum filter, as these are most efficient, and make sure to change your air filters after your decorations go up!

Christmas is only a week away, and you don’t want to be coughing, wheezing, and sneezing when it’s time to open up your gifts.

Speaking of gifts, check out our top picks for unique Christmas gift ideas that you can buy online. If someone in your household is suffering from bad indoor air, FiltersFast.com just might be your one-stop shopping place this holiday season!

Eight Unique Christmas Gift Ideas from Filters Fast

unique Christmas gift

This Christmas, give the gifts of clean air and water.

If you want to avoid the stress of Christmas shopping in crowded malls, yet still end up with the perfect, unique gifts for your loved ones, you’ve come to the right place. This Christmas, give the gifts of clean water and clean air with Filters Fast.

You may be thinking – “filters?” Okay so maybe getting a six-pack of 3M Filtrete Ultra Allergen Air Filters is a bit like getting socks for Christmas. It doesn’t sound all that exciting on the surface to receive a water filter or air filter as a gift. But there are a few “hidden gems” on our website that maybe you hadn’t thought of giving as gifts this holiday season. I can even guarantee we have something appropriate for all ages. Wrap up any one of these filters in shiny wrapping paper, and I’m willing to bet you’ll get a better reaction than you’d get if you wrapped up a pair of socks. And if you wait until the last minute like most people, socks may be the only gifts left…

Sprite Baby Shower Water Filter

Sprite Baby Shower Water Filter

You didn’t believe me when I said we had something appropriate for all ages, did you? The Sprite Baby Shower may not mean much to your infant or toddler right now, but they’ll be thanking you later on in life when they are old enough to understand that you’ve helped save them from a lifetime of the respiratory ailments, dry skin, and itchy scalp that are caused by prolonged exposure to chlorine in the shower. This shower water filter attaches easily to the kitchen sink faucet to make bathing your infant in clean, chlorine-free water even easier. Later, when they’re “all grown up”, you can detach the shower arm and reattach it to any existing shower head in your home.

Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifiers

Filters Fast carries these in several designs, great for nurseries or children’s rooms; choose between Sponge Bob, Elephant, Frog or Hello Kitty. As with the Sprite Baby Shower, your child will be thanking you later for saving them from chapped lips, nose bleeds and dry skin, as well as cold and flu symptoms associated with low humidity.

Vapur Anti-Bottle Water Bottle

Vapur Anti Bottle Water Bottle

The Vapur Bottle is a foldable, collapsable, reusable water bottle (or should we say, pouch that holds water?). Filters Fast currently carries it in six fun colors that your teen is sure to love. It easily attaches to any backpack or purse and may be folded to fit in your pocket when empty. Send your child off to school with one of these, and they’ll be the envy of all the other kids. After all, reusable bottles are way cooler than plastic water bottles these days.

Watersafe Science Project Water Test Kit

Watersafe Science Project Water Test Kit

Don’t worry, adults – we do have gifts for you as well, and we’ll be getting to those soon. But here’s another one for the kids. Filters Fast carries the Watersafe Science Project Kit in two sizes: 4-pack and 10-pack, allowing you to test multiple water samples at once. The kit is easy enough for elementary students, yet scientifically sophisticated enough for high school science projects or experiments. It even comes with a suggested project outline and data sheet. Results are easily transferred to posters or charts for student presentations. If you want to give an educational gift to a child you know, I don’t think it gets any better than this.

Katadyn MyBottle Water Purifiers

Vapur bottles are great for the young (and young-at-heart) but if you’re looking for something more sophisticated and high tech, these reusable bottles come with built-in filtration technology that will make just about any water source safe within minutes. Dip this bottle into a nearby lake or stream while hiking, or use it to filter tap water that has been declared unsafe, and I’m willing to bet you’d be okay. The Katadyn MyBottle Water Purifier filters 99.99 percent of waterborne viruses, bacteria, and protozoa, bringing you safe water, even in the most extreme emergencies. We even listed Katadyn among our top picks for emergency filters that will help you survive the apocalypse. If you know someone who loves hiking but doesn’t want to haul 20 plastic bottles of water through the wilderness, this is a great gift. You can’t lose with Katadyn water filters.

Kleen Kanteen Reusable Water BottlesKleen Kanteen Wide Mouth Insulated Reusable Stainless Steel Water Bottle

These don’t have built-in filters, but they are some of the most popular reusable bottles out there. With the Kleen Kanteen Wide-Mouth insulated bottle, you can add ice or even fruit slices to your beverage. It also keeps hot beverages like coffee hot for hours, making it a great gift for coffee lovers. The wide mouth opening makes it easy to clean, and because it’s composed of stainless steel, it doesn’t retain the taste or odor of any food or beverage. Even the inside of the caps are made of stainless steel, so that no harmful plastic ever touches your water.

Brita Water Pitchers

Brita Grand Water Filter Pitcher

Brita Pitchers come in a variety of sizes, styles and colors. These water filter pitchers significantly reduce chlorine and other impurities in your drinking water. They fit conveniently inside the refrigerator, providing you with cold, clear, filtered water whenever you need it and are great for entertaining guests. Most Brita pitchers come with a built-in filter life indicator that lets you know when it’s time to change your filter. These are some of the most popular water filters on the market. You can’t go wrong when you give a Brita water pitcher filter as a Christmas gift.

Dog It” and “Cat It” Fresh and Clear Pet Water Fountains

Dog It Fresh and Clear Pet Water Fountain

That’s right folks. We even have the perfect gifts for your pets. These pet water fountains constantly recirculate water to provide cool, clear, filtered water for your dog or cat. A special foam portion collects debris such as food, hair, dirt, fur, sediment and other large particles, while the activated carbon filter reduces impurities like chlorine from your pet’s drinking water. Pamper your pet this holiday season, with a Hagen Fresh and Clear Pet Water Fountain!