Study Reports State College Drinking Water Contains Cancer-Causing Toxin

A Doylestown, PA section of community news and forum site “The Patch” reported Wednesday that at least 42 Pennsylvania communities have drinking water containing the cancer-causing toxin Chromium-6. The toxin was originally made famous by the 2000 movie “Erin Brockovich” starring Julia Roberts.

The Environmental Working Group conducting the study found Chromium-6 in both the Penn State water system and the State College Borough Water Authority system.

Even if you’re a townie and you’ve been drinking the water your whole life, you might not have much to worry about. The water provided to the Environmental Working Group to conduct the study does not exceed the Department of Environmental Protection’s maximum of 100 parts per billion of total chromium.

However, the study reports levels that do exceed .02 parts per billion, the level the study says is a public health goal for California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. The report from the Environmental Working Group claims the toxin can cause cancer, reproductive problems, and liver damage even from “a little” exposure.

“EPA is actively working on the development of the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) assessment of hexavalent chromium, which will include a comprehensive evaluation of potential health effects associated with hexavalent chromium, and EPA expects that the draft IRIS assessment will be released for public comment in 2017,” the EPA said in a statement.

You might want to stock up on your Aquafina.

About the Author

Elissa Hill

Elissa is a junior public relations major and the managing editor of Onward State. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Send questions and comments via e-mail ([email protected]) and follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.


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