WASHINGTON, DC, Mar. 14, 2012 -- Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson expressing his disappointment with the EPA's decision to delay the completion of their Chromium 6 toxicology assessment and urging EPA to complete the assessment in a timely fashion.
In 2010, the EPA released its draft Chromium 6 study which found that it was likely carcinogenic and a danger to human health when ingested. However, the EPA recently announced that it would take that draft ingestion study -- already behind schedule -- and combine it with an ongoing inhalation assessment. Without immediate action by the EPA, Rep. Schiff said local water agencies will not take the steps necessary to protect millions of Americans from the harmful effects of Chromium 6.
"The National Toxicology Program study, which I requested almost a decade ago, established that Chromium 6 is hazardous, harmful and carcinogenic, and the government has yet to take action," said Schiff. "With this harmful substance found in tap water of communities across the nation, it's imperative that the EPA act quickly to protect the public health and complete this risk assessment.
"The EPA must stop wasting time and release their final analysis of Chromium 6 in drinking water. Any further delay is unconscionable," he said.
In 2001, Rep. Schiff spearheaded an effort to commission the study by the National Institutes of Health's National Toxicology Program. The study found that high doses of Chromium 6 in drinking water cause cancer in lab rodents.
The link between Chromium 6 and cancer garnered national attention after the release of the movie "Erin Brockovich" in 2000.
Congressman Schiff has long worked to keep Chromium 6 out of drinking water, dating back to his work in the California State Senate. As a State Senator, he sponsored a bill requiring the California Department of Health Services to prepare a report on the amount of Chromium 6 in the San Fernando Valley aquifer and the danger it poses to residents. Additionally, Rep. Schiff has secured more than a million and a half dollars to develop technology capable of removing heavy metals such as Chromium 6 from drinking water in Glendale. This month, Schiff called on California Department of Public Health's (CDPH) Director Ron Chapman to move quickly to establish a Maximum Containment Level (MCL) for Chromium 6.
Before treatment, underground water from some local Los Angeles County wells contains between 45 and 70 parts per billion of Chromium 6. It was also recently announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency planned to install 30 wells in the Glendale-Burbank area this month to monitor levels of Chromium 6 in underground water.