Chromium VI update

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Dec. 16, 2011 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Public Health Goals (PHG) are not only important to those manufacturers who are cleaning up contaminated sites, but also to those who use water in their process.  PHG’s, set by Cal-EPA’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), are considered by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) in establishing drinking water standards.  A significantly lower PHG for Chromium VI could result in higher water costs or less water available to industry.

ToxStrategies, a multi-disciplinary scientific consulting firm, is nearing completion of a two year battery of studies designed to fill data gaps in the scientific literature concerning the potential carcinogenicity of orally ingested hexavalent chromium (CrVI).  These studies, funded by the American Chemistry Council, will help determine whether the tumors observed in rodents exposed to high concentrations of CrVI are relevant to humans exposed to the low levels typically found in groundwater.

Three of approximately twelve manuscripts have already been published and submitted to OEHHA and CDPH.  A fourth manuscript is expected to be published before the end of 2012.  The remaining manuscripts should be published and available to OEHHA before the end of the first quarter of 2012.

OEHHA issued a final PHG for CrVI in drinking water at an extremely low concentration of 20 parts per trillion in July of this year, knowing that the results of the ToxStrategies research would be available in the open literature in a matter of months.  OEHHA then moved almost immediately to establish the PHG in regulation, proposing to amend Proposition 65 warning requirements to remove a long-standing exemption for orally ingested CrVI.  CMTA, along with other industry groups are challenging the scientific foundation of this proposal which remains under review at OEHHA.  Despite these actions, the agency committed to reviewing the published ToxStrategies manuscripts and indicated it would consider reopening the PHG rulemaking if the results supported a different conclusion. 

CMTA and other stakeholders will take necessary action to ensure that OEHHA honors its commitment.

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