Chromium VI

Whilst everyone whispers about the divorce of Mr. & Mrs. Smith on social media, I rather write about the transition of AAPL revenue model or internet security (YHOO password compromise) but rationality deferred me to first talk about the Chromium VI. It's not the GOOG web browser you may assume. Many might not even hear about this chemical compound in their lifetime until now. Therefore, please allow me to summarize an overview.

According to the Water Research Foundation, Chromium is "an odorless and tasteless metallic element (heavy metal) found naturally in rocks, plants, soil, volcanic dust, humans, and animals (Cal/EPA 2011, EPA 2013a)." The common forms are Trivalent chromium (chromium-3) and Hexavalent chromium (chromium-6). The former is an essential human dietary element, found in many vegetables, fruits, meats, grains, and yeast, but the latter rarely occurs naturally, is produced by industrial processes and released to the municipal drinking water sources over 50 states by leakage, poor storage, or inadequate industrial waste disposal practices. It is deadly toxic and can result in causing human "skin burns, pneumonia, complications during childbirth and stomach cancer" even with only a small amounts of consumption.

Meanwhile, the detected volume of this toxic compound in water supply system is at least 75% higher than the standard guideline of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Upon the interactive map (Ref.1), you can see the contamination has affected not only a few towns, cities or states, but across the nation substantially. This is not a discrete problem materializing in a single day, but conglomerated since early 90s, the time public was eventually acknowledged this threatening matter from the famous $333 million 'Erin Brockovich' lawsuit in California. Noxiously, a year's gone by, the federal government has not issued any standard on the maximum amount of chromium-6. Today, the contaminated source not limited to one origin is believed to be human-made by the years of wastes we created include ink-printed packaging, plastics, electronics and so on. The toxin was likely infiltrated our water supply from the improper landfills, or possibly, more complications were behind the cause. The worst is US passing on its e-waste problem to Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and other emerging countries (Ref.2).

As for now, the only solution is to buy filters removing the chemical from tap water or an ion exchange water treatment unit. But please keep in mind that the food supply we ingest everyday are inevitable from this contamination. Is there an enduring solution? Yes, but require federal, state governments, law enforcement and all of us collaborating together to produce, as well as in preserving nature resources for our future.

Before the matter tragically emanated to the point of no return, there's still hope by reacting now to take the right initiative: Generate Less Waste and Recycle.

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Ref.

1. 'ERIN BROCKOVICH' CHEMICAL TAINTS TAP WATER OF 218 MILLION AMERICANS (Interactive Map)

2. Scam Recycling Report: e-Dumping on Asia by US Recyclers

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