He called it “something new on the radar.”
Thief River Falls Water Systems Superintendent, Wayne Johnson, after trace levels of Chromium 6 were found in water samples taken in Polk and Beltrami Counties.
The findings were published by an agency known as the Environmental Working Group, headquartered in Washington D.C., citing the results of 60,000 water samples taken by utilities across the country from 2013 until 2015.
No testing was done in Pennington, Red Lake, Marshall, Kittson or Roseau Counties, but samples in Polk and Beltrami Counties turned up trace amounts at point zero two parts per billion or less.
Higher amounts, from 1 to 5 parts per billion, were found among 8 samples taken in Grand Forks County.
Johnson says the State Department of Health has tested and cleared city water for “total chromium” three times over the past 10 years, although the state does not test specifically for Chromium 6, which was the subject of a 1993 law suit against California Utility, Pacific Gas and Electric, detailed in the Academy Award Winning Movie, Erin Brockovich.
Scientists say various types of Chromium are naturally occurring, although Chromium 6 is generally traced to industrial sources.
According to the California Department of Public Health, the chemical is a highly toxic carcinogen, although the agency also says the trace amounts found in Polk and Beltrami Counties pose only a negligible risk over a lifetime of consumption.
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