Many workers are exposed to chromium-6 during the production of stainless steel, chromate chemicals, and chromate pigments. It has high value in the industrial world because it can be polished to a mirror-like finish, and provides a durable, highly rust resistant coating, for heavy applications. Even if the water is leaving the water processing plant clean, it may be contaminated by old or leaking pipes and the like. Most formulas will supply 200 to 600 micrograms of Chromium per day, in the form of Chromium … Larry West is an award-winning environmental journalist and writer. There is very little evidence of chromium-6 in drinking water causing cancer or other adverse health effects in humans. Chromium is available as part of multivitamins or alone. The background document reviews microbial, chemical and radiological aspects of drinking-water, and addresses the chemical aspects of chromium toxicity: general description; environmental levels and human exposure; kinetics and metabolism in laboratory animals and humans; effects on laboratory animals and in vitro test systems; This is especially true if you’re relying on city water in Maryland. Residents suffered higher cancer rates than the general population, and chromium exposure may have resulted in other medical conditions as well. Stop using chromium picolinate and call your doctor at once if you have: thinking problems, trouble concentrating; problems with balance or coordination; or The placenta is the organ with the highest chromium amounts. Chromium Side Effects. Drug information provided by: IBM Micromedex. On the flip side, chromium can also provide health benefits to humans. Evidence of Adverse Health Effects From Chromium-6 in Tap Water. It is found in trace amounts in plant products, specifically grains. Both of these conditions could result in lower fertility. Let’s take a look. Drinking water might not sound like the most exciting topic for a hit movie, but there’s a reason the film drew so much attention. Carcinogenic Effects Chromium picolinate is a supplemental form of chromium said to improve nutrient metabolism and promote weight loss. Chromium supplements can be found in several forms including chromium polynicotinate, chromium histidinate, chromium chloride and chromium picolinate. The dangerous contaminant has been found in Baltimore, Bethesda, Annapolis, Bowie, Rockville, and many other cities in Prince George’s and Montgomery County. EPA regularly re-evaluates drinking water standards and, based on new science on chromium-6, began a rigorous … Further, the sperm experienced lower motility, meaning they were less mobile and energetic. Chromium exposure can cause skin and eye irritation, for example. Some people experience side effects such as skin irritation, headaches, dizziness, nausea, mood changes, impaired thinking, judgment, and coordination. Rather, it underscored the lack of confirmed knowledge and clear guidelines concerning the level at which chromium-6 in drinking water becomes a public health hazard. These changes are immensely complex, and if biological processes are disturbed, it could have cascading effects. How it functions in the body as a supplement is not well known. You can save money, reduce your impact on the environment, and even cut energy costs all while enjoying safer, cleaner water. Other Effects of Chromium Exposure Through Drinking Water. Although there was some question whether the number of cancer cases in Hinkley was higher than normal, and how much of a danger the chromium-6 actually posed, the case was settled in 1996 for $333 million—the largest settlement ever paid in a direct-action lawsuit in U.S. history. Headache, vomiting, are some other common chromium side effects. Chromium exposure can cause skin and eye irritation, for example. The EPA has established a maximum contaminant level of 0.1 mg/L for total chromium in drinking water. The WaterMax BEQ uses a multi-step process  to reduce or eliminate chromium 6 and other dangerous contaminants. Chromium is a dangerous substance and the residents of Hinkley, California were exposed to high levels of chromium due to negligence. Chronic inhalation of chromium-6 has been shown to increase the risk of lung cancer and may also damage the small capillaries in kidneys and intestines. Unfortunately, the water coming out of your tap may be contaminated with various heavy metals and other pollutants. Chromium may be linked to other cancers as well. Fortunately, by using a filtration system, such as the Hague WaterMax® BEQ, you can reduce chromium levels. Chromium helps your body use sugar properly. However, check with your health care professional if you notice any unusual effects while you are taking it. Even if hexavalent chromium doesn’t ring a bell, you’ve probably heard about it before. Other adverse health effects associated with chromium-6 exposure, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), include skin irritation or ulceration, allergic contact dermatitis, occupational asthma, nasal irritation and ulceration, perforated nasal septa, rhinitis, nosebleed, respiratory irritation, nasal cancer, sinus cancer, eye irritation and damage, perforated eardrums, kidney damage, liver damage, pulmonary congestion and edema, epigastric pain, and erosion and discoloration of one's teeth. Other, generally minor side effects of chromium supplementation have been reported. However, check with your health care professional if you notice any unusual effects while you are taking it. Hexavalent chromium may also cause asthma, nasal ulcers, convulsions, acute gastroenteritis, and damage to the liver and kidneys. Tap Water in 42 States Contaminated by Chemicals, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). There have been some reports of chromium causing occasional irregular heartbeats, sleep disturbances, headaches , mood changes, and allergic reactions. Many households that rely on city water are rightly worried about exposure to chromium and other dangerous contaminants. What are the health effects of chromium in water? The body goes through many changes throughout childhood. Excess niacin through over-supplementation of CDG and from other sources may cause: 1. side effects 2. including itching or burning of the skin 3. headache 4. blurred vision 5. nausea 6. vomiting 7. diarrhea 8. heartburn 9. bloating Other, more severe side effects of niacin oversupplementation include dizziness, rapid heartbeat and a yellowing of the skin, called jaundice. In addition to cancer and reproductive harm, short and long-term exposures can lead to eye and respiratory irritation, asthma attacks, nasal ulcers, dermal burns, anemia, acute gastroenteritis, vertigo, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, convulsions, ulcers, and damage or failure of the liver and kidneys. Chromium is used mainly in metal alloys such as metal-ceramics, stainless steel, and is used as chrome plating. CrO42- or HcrO4- and chromium(III) as Cr(OH)n(3-n)+. Daily intake strongly depends upon feed levels, and is usually approximately 15-200 μg, but may be as high as 1 mg. Chromium uptake is 0.5-1%, in other words very small. While the above effects are perhaps the most serious effects of chromium exposure through drinking water, they are far from the only ones. The current standard is based on potential adverse dermatological effects over many years, such as allergic dermatitis (skin reactions). Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Unfortunately, a report found that chromium 6, the very same carcinogen at the center of the Brockovich lawsuit, has been found in city water across Maryland. Chromium picolinate is a popular form of chromium supplements because it is easily absorbed by the body. Male workers who had been exposed to high levels of chromium at the workplace experienced a lower sperm count. In soil, chromium(III) predominates. In some people, it may be a reason for diarrhea or irritability. Being exposed to excessive levels of chromium can lead to serious medical complications. Research on the benefits of chromium to enhance fat loss and increase performance in bodybuilders and athletes has provided mixed results. Insulin is essential for metabolism and storage of carbs, fats, and proteins in the body. The process of chromium entering our systems at toxic levels is known as chromium toxicity. The bes… He won the Edward J. Meeman Award for Environmental Reporting. Maryland Receives $20M for Water Improvement Projects from the EPA. Any Maryland household with children should pay especially close attention to the quality of their drinking water. The lawsuit alleged that Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) had contaminated groundwater with chromium-6 in the California town of Hinkley, leading to a high number of cancer cases. Chromium supplements are often used as a weight-loss aid and to control blood sugar. However, you couldn’t blame Maryland residents for wanting cleaner water. Chromium is believed to help the body process carbohydrates and fats.1 It is marketed as a weight loss aid for dieters and an ergogenic (muscle-building) aid for bodybuilders and athletes. Chromium(VI) can easily be reduced to chromium(III) by organic matter, for example, and its occurrence in soil is often the result of human activities. Side Effects. Chromium has been used safely in a small number of studies using doses of 200-1000 mcg daily for up to 2 years. A possible source of chromium exposure is waste dumps for chromate-producing plants causing local air or water pollution. People exposed to high levels of chromium are more likely to suffer lung cancer and nasal sinus cancer. Chromium 6 has been linked to male infertility. Chromium works by aiding the action of insulinin the body. Poisoning is especially pronounced when organisms come into contact with hexavalent chromium, including its compounds, due to its high levels of toxicity. These findings encourage the use of Chromium in weight loss programs. Call us or request a FREE WATER TEST today! Chromium is one of the most common skin sensitizers and often causes skin sensitizing effect in the general public. Regarding safety, it appears that supplementation is safe and side effects are extremely rare. Some people have reported fast, irregular heartbeats after taking chromium, and still others believe … [1,10,11] In 2010, the Environmental Working Group analyzed samples of drinking water from 35 American cities. Learn more about chromium … Niacin, or vitamin B-3, is cleaved from the chromium molecule in CDG once it is absorbed by your body. Site Map| Privacy policy| © 2019 Water Softeners, Water Conditioners, Water Filtration, Water Treatment, Plumbing, Annapolis, Washington DC. Both of these cancers have a high mortality rate. PG&E later paid nearly as much to settle additional chromium-6-related claims in other California communities. Chromium(IV) has toxic and carcinogenic properties, whereas high levels of chromium(III) could even lead to damaging of the DNA. NIOSH considers all chromium-6 compounds to be potential occupational carcinogens. The potentially adverse health effects of chromium-6 in drinking water have become an issue of growing concern nationwide. Chromium-6 is recognized as a human carcinogen when it is inhaled. So, what are the effects of chromium, anyway? Though chromium occurs in nature mostly as chrome iron ore and is widely found in soils and plants, it is rare in natural waters. The hexavalent chromium compounds that residents were exposed to were genotoxic carcinogens. PG&E operates a compressor station for natural gas pipelines at Hinkley, and chromium-6 was used in cooling towers at the site to prevent corrosion. These include itching and flushing of the skin and irritation of the stomach. Find everything you need to know about chromium picolinate (CRM), including what it is used for, warnings, reviews, side effects, and interactions. Hexavalent chromium may also cause asthma, nasal ulcers, convulsions, acute gastroenteritis, and damage to the liver and kidneys. Concerning those studies, the National Toxicology Program has said that chromium-6 in drinking water shows "clear evidence of carcinogenic activity” in laboratory animals and increases the risk of gastrointestinal tumors. It could manifest as an occupational hazard, such as in metallurgy and electroplating jobs, or through contamination of water. It is also difficult to determine if a per… Some people experience side effects such as skin irritation, headaches, dizziness, nausea, mood changes and impaired thinking, judgment, and coordination. In Russia, exposure to chromium hexavalent is widely blamed for premature senility. The level of chromium entering a body orally is … In fact, chromium 6 has been found in water provided by the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission. Further information What Is Fracking, Hydrofracking or Hydraulic Fracturing? This heavy metal was the subject of the classic movie “Erin Brockovich,” starring Julia Roberts. One form, chromium picolinate, is popular because it is one of the more easily absorbed forms. In many cases, the chromium levels reported fall on the right side of EPA guidelines. Hinkley’s ground water contained concentrations as high as 580 parts per billion, more than 10 times California’s current drinking water standard of 50 ppb for total chromium compounds. This article examines the evidence to determine the benefits of chromium picolinate. And many turn to bottled water as a result. Chromium poisoning, also known as chromium toxicity or heavy metal poisoning, refers to all the effects related to poisoning as a result of exposure or contact with some forms of chromium. However, it is reviewing health effects data of hexavalent chromium and may set limits on its levels in drinking water in the future. Side effects associated with use of Chromium, include the following: cognitive dysfunction; headache; insomnia; irritability; mood changes; motor dysfunction; perceptual dysfunction; sleep disturbances; weight gain (high dose) anemia; rupture of red blood cells; low levels of red blood cells (thrombocytopenia) low blood sugar levels; Rare side effects of Chromium include: Similar findings were observed in animal studies. No side effects or overdoses have been reported for chromium. One of the most dangerous contaminants, especially for Maryland residents, is hexavalent chromium (AKA chromium 6). Unfortunately, if you have children in your household, the dangers of chromium in your drinking water are all the more real. The most compelling case for human health problems caused by chromium-6 in drinking water is the lawsuit that inspired the film, "Erin Brockovich," starring Julia Roberts. Wastewater from the cooling towers, containing chromium-6, was discharged into unlined ponds and seeped into the groundwater and contaminated the town's drinking water. Water samples in 25 of those cities contained chromium-6 at concentrations higher than the "safe maximum" (0.06 parts per billion) proposed by California regulators, but far below the safety standard of 100 ppb for all types of chromium combined that was established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Rarely, the mineral may cause certain serious conditions, which must be reported to the doctor as early as possible. Other adverse health effects associated with chromium-6 exposure, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), include skin irritation or … It is found in a variety of foods but the amount in each type of food is not always easy to determine. Diabetes. Chromium has been found to stunt child development and could have lasting effects throughout your child’s life. Chromium picolinate side effects. However, by using a Hague WaterMax® BEQ, made specifically for filtering city water, you can get clean water straight from the tap, throughout your entire home. There is not enough evidence to show that taking chromium supplements improves the way your body uses sugar (glucose tolerance). Chromium-6 was made famous in the 2000 biographical film \"Erin Brockovich,\" starring Julia Roberts as the titular activist. Hinkley has since become a ghost town. Most importantly, chromium 6 is a dangerous carcinogen, which means it can cause cancer. According to a review of clinical trials, chromium increases insulin function and helps … In September 2010, the EPA launched a reassessment of chromium-6 when it released a draft human health assessment that proposes classifying chromium-6 as a likely carcinogenic to humans who ingest it. As of December 2010, the EPA has not established a safety standard for chromium-6 in drinking water. Chromate dusts and acids can permanently damage your eyes if they come into direct contact, and other kinds of skin contact may lead to allergic dermatitis, corrosion, skin … EPA currently seeks voluntary monitoring of hexavalent chromium in drinking water by municipalities. Nearly 200 million Americans across all 50 states have been exposed through their tap water to higher-than-recommended levels of chromium-6, a cancer-causing chemical, according to a new report. The EPA expects to complete the health-risk assessment and make a final determination about the cancer-causing potential of chromium-6 through ingestion in 2011 and will use the results to determine whether a new safety standard is needed. However, in the ‘side effects’ listed below, we cite a few unfortunate cases where humans ingested hexavalent chromium compounds. Lack of chromium may lead to nerve problems and may decrease the body's ability to use sugar properly. In 2010, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) tested tap water in 35 U.S. cities and found chromium-6 in 31 of them (89 percent). No side effects or overdoses have been reported for chromium. Production of the most water soluble forms of chromium, the chromate and dichromates, was in the range of 250,000 tons in 1992. But what is it, and why is it a concern? Primary information, health benefits, side effects, usage, and other important details Chromium is an essential mineral , consumed through the diet. Pacific Gas and Electric was forced to pay $333 million after wastewater contaminated with hexavalent chromium leaked into nearby groundwater. Chromium seems to have few side effects. In water, chromium(III) is a positive ion that forms hydroxides and complexes, and is adsorbed at Only a few animal studies have found a possible connection between chromium-6 in drinking water and cancer, and only when the laboratory animals were fed levels of chromium-6 that were hundreds of times greater than the current safety standards for human exposure. Chromium-6 exposure also occurs during work activities such as stainless-steel welding, thermal cutting, and chrome plating. 4. While the above effects are perhaps the most serious effects of chromium exposure through drinking water, they are far from the only ones. That doesn't mean the EPA was declaring drinking water with a chromium-6 safe for human consumption. The human body contains approximately 0.03 ppm of chromium. The chromium exposure uncovered by the real-life Erin Brockovich resulted in the largest ever direct action lawsuit settlement. It is also needed for the breakdown of proteins and fats. 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