Study: Cancer-linked Chemical Found in Honolulu Drinking Water

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BY VOA NEWS – An environmental group says it has found a chemical linked to cancer in the drinking water of 31 U.S. cities including Honolulu.

The Environmental Working Group released a report Monday saying it detected the chemical hexavalent chromium in the tap water of 31 of 35 randomly chosen cities.


The chemical, also known as chromium-6, was deemed by the National Institutes of Health as a “probable carcinogen” in 2008. It is commonly discharged from some industrial sites. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has not set a legal limit for chromium-6 levels in drinking water.

The study said high levels of the chemical were found in tap water in Norman, Oklahoma; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Riverside, California.

The state of California, which often leads the nation in setting environmental policy, has proposed setting a “public health goal” limiting hexavalent chromium in drinking water to 0.06 parts per billion. Twenty-five of the cities included in the study had levels exceeding that proposed limit.

Hexavalent chromium was the chemical featured in a 2000 movie hit called Erin Brockovich, the true story of a woman who takes action after discovering a power company was responsible for polluting the water supply of a California town with the chemical.

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