Hundreds of millions of Americans, including those in the Channel 11 viewing area, are drinking tap water contaminated with a cancer-causing chemical, a new report shows.
According to the study by the Environmental Working Group, every water system but one in the region were found to have water contaminated by the carcinogenic chemical chromium 6. The tests were conducted between 2013 and 2016.
Chromium 6 is the same chemical in the real-life case of Erin Brockovich. It's found naturally in things like rocks, animals, plants and soil.
In the new study out of California, 60,000 water samples in all 50 states were taken and 75 percent were found to have higher levels of chromium 6 than what the researchers deemed to be safe.
Currently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has not set a specific limit for safe levels of chromium 6 in drinking water. There is scientific uncertainty regarding possible long-term consequences of ingestion.
The only local water system in the study that did not test positive for the chemical was the Tri County Joint Municipal Authority in Washington County.
According to the study, the water systems that tested positive for chromium 6 are:
- Ambridge Water Authority
- Beaver Falls Municipal Authority
- Buffalo Twp. Municipal. Authority
- Center Township Water Authority
- Charleroi Borough Municipal Authority
- Cranberry Township
- Creswell Heights Joint Authority
- Freeport-Southwestern PA Water Authority
- Hampton Shaler Water Authority
- Highridge Water Authority
- Kittanning Suburb Joint Water Authority
- Latrobe Municipal Authority
- Monroeville Municipal Authority
- Moon Township Municipal Authority
- Morgantown Utility Board
- New Kensington Municipal Authority
- North Fayette County Municipal Authority (Fayette County)
- Oakmont Borough Municipal Authority
- PA American Water Co. – Brownsville
- PA American Water Co. - Butler
- PA American Water Co. – Connellsville
- PA American Water Co. - Ellwood Cty.
- PA American Water Co. - New Castle
- PA American Water Co. - Pittsburgh
- PA American Water Co. – Uniontown
- Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority
- Plum Borough Municipal Authority
- Westmoreland County Municipal Authority – McKeesport
- Westmoreland County Municipal Authority - Sweeney Plant
- Westmoreland County Municipal Authority - Yough Plant
- West View Borough Municipal Authority
- Wilkinsburg-Penn Joint Water Authority
Gary Lobaugh, Pennsylvania American Water External Affairs Manager-Western PA, provided the following statement Wednesday afternoon:
Cox Media Group