Non-threatening levels of the same cancer-causing toxin that environmental advocate Erin Brockovich identified as the cause of widespread cancer in California 25 years ago were found in Bergen and Passaic county drinking water, according to a national report released Tuesday.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found levels of Hexavalent chromium (Chromium-6) in more than 150 New Jersey water systems tested during a nationwide survey from 2013-2015, The Environmental Working Group reported.
Overall, the study found that nearly 218 million Americans in all 50 states -- two-thirds of the population -- are drinking water containing the carcinogen at levels below those the state and federal governments consider threatening but exceed those recommended by California scientists. Oklahoma, Arizona and California had the highest average statewide levels.
Chromium 6 is used in making steel, plating chrome and lowering the water temperature in power plant cooling towers -- as in the case popularized in the movie "Erin Brockovich," starring Julia Roberts.
It has been linked to lung cancer, liver damage and reproductive and developmental problems.
- Elmwood Park Water Department: .063 ppb
- Fair Lawn Water Department: .28 ppb
- Garfield Water Department: .7 ppb
- Hawthorne Water Department .35 ppb
- Lyndhurst Water Department: .039 ppb
- Mahwah Water Department: .21 ppb
- Oakland Water Department: .5 ppb
- Park Ridge Water Department .18 ppb
- Passaic Valley WC Lodi WD : .064 ppb
- PVWC - North Arlington: .051 ppb
- Ramsey Water Department: .62 ppb
- Ridgewood Water: .4 ppb
- Saddle Brook Water Department: .073
- Suez: 0.15 ppb
- Wallington Water Department: .072 ppb
- Hawthorne Water Department: .35 ppb
- Manchester Utilities Authority: .086 ppb
- NJ American Water Co. - Little Falls: .037 ppb
- NJ American Water Co. - Short Hills: .4 ppb
- Passaic Valley Water Commission: .069 ppb
- Pompton Lakes MUA: .033 ppb
- Ringwood Water Department: .11 ppb
- Totowa Water Department: .058 ppb
- Wanaque Water Department: .098 ppb
- Wayne Township Division of Water: .009 ppb
The Environmental Working Group, a research and advocacy nonprofit, said it wanted to show that the EPA needs to set a national drinking water standard.
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