A recent report from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit research organization, revealed that there are higher-than-recommended levels of chromium-6 in the tap water being supplied to two-thirds of all Americans. EWG published an interactive map that lists its water testing results on a county-by-county basis.
Chromium-6 is a cancer-causing chemical that occurs naturally in the environment and can be produced in high quantities by industrial projects. In addition to being a known carcinogen, chromium-6 can also cause burns, pneumonia and complications during childbirth.
If you live in an area that has high levels of chromium-6, consider purchasing a filter to remove the chemical from your water. The following are the most common filters used:
- Ion exchange water treatment units—These units are effective in removing chromium-6. However, they need to be monitored, maintained and replaced fairly frequently.
- Reverse osmosis filters—These filters are often more affordable and practical for residential use and are easier to find at local stores. However, they use much more energy, and you must dispose of the filtered materials.
If you aren’t sure what filter is best for you, visit EWG’s Water Filter Buying Guide for further guidance.