Parameter Type: Drinking Water Testing for Metals
Parameter Name: Hexavalent-Chromium
What it is and Where it Comes From:
Hexavalent chromium refers to chemical compounds that contain the element chromium in the +6-oxidation state. Virtually all chromium ore is processed via hexavalent chromium, specifically the salt sodium dichromate. Hexavalent chromium is key to all materials made from chromium. Industrial uses of hexavalent chromium compounds include chromate pigments in dyes, paints, inks, and plastics; chromates added as anticorrosive agents to paints, primers, and other surface coatings; and chromic acid electroplated onto metal parts to provide a decorative or protective coating. Hexavalent chromium can be formed when performing “hot work” such as welding on stainless steel or melting chromium metal. In these situations, the chromium is not originally hexavalent, but the high temperatures involved in the process result in oxidation that converts the chromium to a hexavalent state. Hexavalent chromium can also be found in drinking water and public water systems. In addition to natural sources, hexavalent chromium enters drinking water sources through discharges of dye and paint pigments, wood preservatives, chrome plating wastes, leaching from hazardous waste sites and by water eroding through the earth’s crust. Safe Home offers two platforms of drinking water testing for hexavalent chromium. The first platform in drinking water testing kits for hexavalent chromium is Do-It-Yourself, this allows you to perform testing in the comfort of your own home. The second platform is a Laboratory drinking water testing for hexavalent chromium, allowing you to collect your water sample and ship it directly to our EPA-Certified Laboratory. This platform of drinking water testing for metals will give you an accurate level based on the lowest level of a parameter our instruments can detect (Method Detection Level). Safe Home drinking water testing for hexavalent chromium can be used for city and well water supplies. Drinking water testing should be done any time you notice a significant change in your water quality.
Exposure to hexavalent chromium occurs through breathing, ingestion, and contact with the skin. Although most of the known health impacts are related to inhalation, there is now strong data linking ingestion of hexavalent chromium, such as through drinking water, to severe health effects. 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.
Solutions to Contaminant Levels:
Ways to reduce hexavalent chromium after drinking water testing is through a reverse osmosis system, distillation and anion exchange methods are effective. Reverse osmosis is a process that removes foreign contaminants, solid substances, large molecules, and minerals from water by using pressure to push it through specialized membranes. Here’s how reverse osmosis works. Unlike osmosis, which is a passive process, reverse osmosis requires external force (pressure) to work. Pressure is applied to a highly concentrated solute solution, such as salt water, to pass through a membrane to a lower concentrate solution. The membrane allows water to flow through but blocks out larger molecules, like contaminants. The reverse osmosis process leaves higher concentrations of solute on one side and only the solvent, or freshwater, on the other. Distillation or classical distillation is the process of separating the components or substances from a liquid mixture by using selective boiling and condensation. Anion exchange devices can treat either point-of-entry or point-of-use. They reduce the concentration of sulfate, nitrate, and arsenic in water. Point-of-use units are connected to a single tap and remove hazardous chemicals from drinking and cooking water only. Point of entry devices treat water for the whole household. Ion exchange replaces (or exchanges) unwanted minerals in water with less objectionable ones. Chloride and hydroxide ions are the most used materials on the resin beads. As water passes through the device, the resin adsorbs anions such as sulfate, nitrate, arsenic and bicarbonates and releases chloride into the water. The exchange occurs in a fiberglass tank or plastic-lined steel tank filled with either the resin or a synthetic zeolite. Who do I need to contact to find out more information about water quality in my area? Every community water supplier must provide an annual report to its customers, known as a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR). The report provides information on your local drinking water quality, including the water’s source, contaminants found in the water, and how consumers can get involved in protecting drinking water. How often does the local public water system preform drinking water testing? Frequency of drinking water testing depends on the number of people served, the type of water source, and types of contaminants. Certain contaminants are tested more frequently than others, as established by the Safe Drinking Water Act. You can find out about levels of regulated contaminants in your treated water for the previous calendar year in your annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR).
File Under: Metals
Drinking Water Testing - Parameter Types
MCL’s (Maximum Contaminant Levels) MCL’s are levels that set by the USEPA and are enforceable to Public Water Utilities, requiring additional treatment, when the levels are exceeded. These same guidelines should be at least considered, by owners of private wells. Some states have more strict guidelines than the USEPA. Not all parameters have MCL’s. If the parameter has an MCL, it’s listed.
MCLG’s (Maximum Contaminant Level Goals) MCLG’s are goals set by the USEPA that we should all strive for when consuming drinking water from any water supply. Concentrations of certain parameters (even below the MCL’s), are still not healthy for humans and animals to drink. These same guidelines should at least be be considered, by owners of private wells. Some states have more strict guidelines than the USEPA. Not all parameters have MCLG’s. If the parameter has an MCLG, it’s listed.
ACTION LEVELS ACTION LEVELS are a specified concentration of a respective parameter in drinking water, that is above a “treatment level” set by the USEPA. When these levels are exceeded, further treatment and monitoring is required by the respective utility who’s water violated this limit.Action Levels apply to parameter-rules such as but not limited to the Copper/Lead Rule.
PARTS PER MILLION (ppm) PPM is a scientific measurement which represents milligrams of the parameter being tested per liter of the respective liquid. Example: If Copper in your water supply is at a concentration of 1.00 mg/L, this is the same as saying the concentration is 1.00 ppm.