Day 351: Don’t drink the water

20 12 2010

I know this isn’t cycling related, but an article I read today on CNN was disturbing. According to a report released by the Environmental Working Group, a dangerous carcinogen called hexavalent chromium (or chromium-6) has been found in the drinking water of at least 31 U.S. cities. Normally, I’m not surprised when I hear about various hazardous substances showing up in our food or water. Disturbed, but not surprised. I think the U.S. government could do a lot more to regulate the safety of our food supply, but that’s a post for another time. I’m sure there are other substances more toxic than chromium-6. In fact, I had no idea what chromium-6 is, but this helped explain it:

“After chromium-6 was discovered in the water supply of Hinkley, California, [Erin] Brockovich helped bring about a lawsuit that ultimately ended in 1996 with the utility company, Pacific Gas & Electric, paying more than $330 million in damages.”

Apparently, exposure to chromium-6 results in an increased risk of stomach cancer and switching to bottled water isn’t the magic fix, since there’s no guarantee that chromium-6 isn’t in that water also. The article suggested buying an effective water filter. We always use one of the Brita filters, but who knows whether or not that gets rid of the substance.

Even more disturbing: Louisville ranked at #22 on the list of 35 cities studied in the report. Is your city on the list? Find out here. And if you want to watch an excellent documentary on how a small handful of major corporations are involved in the control of our nation’s food industry, be sure to watch Food, Inc.

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!

           _O
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Thanks for visiting.

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