Filter Out a Cancerous Chemical From Tap Water

May 11, 2017

What Can You Do About a Cancerous Chemical in Drinking Water?

Chromium-6 is a chemical found in drinking water around the country. The problem is that this contaminant has been associated with causing cancer in animal studies, and scientists conclude that it can have the same course of action in people. So the water you’re drinking out of your tap at home could be increasing your chance of developing cancer.

Is there anything you can do about it?

Taking Action

Scientists and organizations try to get the government to make stricter regulations on how much chromium-6 can be in drinking water. For instance, the Environmental Working Group has conducted tests on drinking water throughout the United States to see if it contained the chemical, and found it in numerous cities. The group with the help of environmental groups got the Environmental Protection Agency to include this chemical in its list of chemicals that need to be tested for.

However, more needs to be done. There are not regulations in most of the country controlling the amount of chromium-6 in drinking water, and the amount decided upon in California is much higher than scientists recommend. You could get involved by telling the Environmental Protection Agency how you feel about this chemical in the drinking water. The Environmental Working Group has a petition you can sign, and the EPA gives the ability to contact it to provide feedback.

Protecting Your Household From Exposure

You can take measures to remove this harmful chemical from your home’s tap water before drinking the water. A regular water filter won’t do the trick, but you can get this chemical out of your water with the help of a reverse osmosis unit. Susan Scutti explains for CNN that reverse osmosis units force water across a semipermeable membrane, which stops chromium-6 from getting through into your drinking water.

Another method for removing chromium-6 is an ion exchange water treatment unit. Jenny Marder explains for PBS that this type of unit catches the chromium-6 ions when the water goes through resin beads, leaving clean water flowing through.

While your home drinking water might contain the cancerous chemical chromium-6, you can remove it from your water with the right kind of water-cleansing unit. Also, consider speaking up about your concerns to try to get this chemical out of the drinking water at the source. 


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