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ChromiumChromium element

  •  Chromium is a grayish-white metallic element commonly occurring in nature. Chromium is used in electroplating, alloy metals, and as a corrosion inhibitor in the textile, glass, and photographic industries. Potential sources of contamination in drinking water include discharge from steel and pulp mills and erosion of natural deposits.
  • The US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has set a drinking water standard of 0.1 mg/L for chromium in public drinking water supplies. These regulations do not apply to private water supplies but the health implications are the same for private well owners.
  • Short term (i.e. 1 day) exposure to drinking water with a chromium concentration at more than 10 times the USEPA standard is not thought to be dangerous. However, the more likely health effect from chromium comes from low dosages over a long period of time or “chronic” effects. Allergic inflammation of the skin is the primary health effect from chromium.
  • Treatment of water for chromium can be accomplished with ion exchange, reverse osmosis, or distillation systems. 

Additional Resources

Handbook of Drinking Water Quality; John DeZuane; 1997

USEPA Maximum Contaminant Levels and Fact Sheets:

http://www.epa.gov/safewater/mcl.html

Water Quality Interpretation Tool:

http://region8water.colostate.edu/wqtool/index.cfm