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Sparta, New Jersey debates report about carcinogen in water

A report released on Tuesday, September 20 by the advocacy organization Environmental Working Group said as many as 90% of public water systems in the United States contain the carcinogen chromium-6, which could endanger the lives of more than 200 million Americans.

Local and state officials, however, disagree about conclusions drawn out  by the report. Sparta Mayor Christine Quinn said to the New Jersey Herald in an email on Thursday, September 22: “It is my understanding that the source of the recent [report] circulating regarding Chromium-6 in drinking water is a study performed by an advocacy group that elected to develop its own contamination levels, rather than utilizing actual Federal EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] drinking water standards.”

Because of their stricter standards, the group may have caused “findings and a level of public concern that are not based on any currently established regulations,” Quinn said. New Jersey and other states still have no chromium-6 standards of their own and they are currently following the federal limit of 100 parts per billion, which covers not only chromium-6, but also chromium-3, which is a naturally occurring metal found in small rocks.

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