US water has large amounts of likely carcinogen: study

Source Agence France-Presse

A US environmental group has found that drinking water in 35 American cities contains hexavalent chromium, a probable carcinogen, The Washington Post reported Sunday. The study by the Environmental Working Group -- the first nationwide analysis measuring the presence of the chemical in US water systems -- is to be made public on Monday, the daily reported. The group found hexavalent chromium in the tap water of 31 out of 35 cities sampled. Of those, 25 had levels that exceeded the goal proposed in California, which has been trying aggressively to reduce the chemical in its water supply. The federal Environmental Protection Agency is considering whether to set a limit for hexavalent chromium in tap water. The agency is reviewing the chemical after the National Institutes of Health, deemed it a "probable carcinogen" in 2008. Hexavalent chromium has long been known to cause lung cancer when inhaled, and scientists recently found evidence that it causes cancer in laboratory animals when ingested. It has been linked in animals to liver and kidney damage as well as leukemia, stomach cancer and other cancers.