Statement by Water Research Foundation about Environmental Working Group Media Alert On Hexavalent Chromium

Environmental Working Group Press Release Irresponsibly and Unnecessarily Risks Public Fear

Apr 04, 2011, 16:36 ET from Water Research Foundation

DENVER, April 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- "It's disconcerting that an organization such as EWG would risk creating public fear and hysteria about drinking water, let alone publicly insinuate that there is a massive conspiracy by water providers in a nationwide cover up. It's reckless and irresponsible for any entity purporting to serve a scientific purpose.

Although significantly downplayed, even EWG's own press release indicates that there is a major difference between detection of a substance in source water and what comes through the tap in people's homes. But, EWG's sensationalized presentation overshadows that key point.

The simple fact is that advancement of technologies has allowed the scientific community and water providers to detect even the slightest traces of almost any substance – including hexavalent chromium, which can occur naturally as well as through contaminants. But detection does not equal risk, and not every level of detection equals a high level of risk.

Water Research Foundation has been conducting research on the detection and treatment of hexavalent chromium since the early 2000s. Research reports are provided to subscribers and results are shared with larger audiences via professional conferences, professional journals, trade publications, and other similar venues. In fact, Water Research Foundation is funding two new research projects in 2011. One will review detection techniques and compile information on the occurrence of the contaminant, its sources, treatment options, health effects, and the current status of federal and state regulations in the United States. The other is an initiative co-sponsored by the Foundation and Glendale, CA which is the next phase of a pilot program to explore new technologies and processes to reduce hexavalent chromium levels in drinking water.

Industry standards for drinking water treatment are set by state and federal regulators – which are followed and often surpassed by utilities. Hexavalent Chromium is one of 20 substances that currently are being reviewed by the USEPA for possible further regulation.

Hexavalent Chromium can be removed using a handful of proven treatment techniques depending on the level present in the source water, removal goals, other water parameters, competing treatment objectives and treatment waste disposal options."

About the Water Research Foundation

Founded in 1966, the Water Research Foundation is an international, 501(c)3 non-profit organization that sponsors research to enable water utilities, public health agencies and other professionals to provide safe and affordable drinking water to the public. With more than 950 subscriber members who provide water to 80 percent of the U.S. population, the Water Research Foundation has funded and managed more than 1,000 projects. For more information, go to

SOURCE Water Research Foundation