+
Indoor
Outdoor
+
Outdoor
Indoor
This is a newly redesigned Water-Research.net page
Page Archive

Get Informed | What is Chromium?

Chromium is a hard, steely-gray or bluish-gray, brittle metal with a lustrous or mirror-like/shiny finish that has a high melting point and is resistant to weathering and oxidation. Chromium is considered a trace mineral, i.e., small quantities, are needed by the human body to function.

Note: In the 1960s, chromium deficiency was linked to glucose intolerance and insulin resistance, which indicates the body was not properly managing blood sugar levels.

How Does Chromium Become a problem?

Chromium has positive health benefits at trace levels which include controlling blood sugar level/diabetes, brain health, heart health, and controlling the body's weight. Most commonly, chromium is found in two forms: trivalent (+3) chromium and hexavalent (+6) chromium. Trivalent chromium is the form that is found naturally in our food supply and is biologically active and is very water soluble but is poorly absorbed by the human body. Hexavalent chromium occurs naturally, but is also associated with manufacturing and is an industrial contaminant. Hexavalent chromium is more readily bioavailable and is more readily adsorbed by the body, i.e., the skin, liver, and gastrointestinal system. Chromium +6 has been released to the environment through improper and inadequate contaminant and poor waste-disposal practices. Chromium sources include corrosion of the piping used in water supply systems and exposure through the use of corroded stainless steel cookware. Chromium is part of the alloy that is stainless steel, that is what makes steel “stainless.”.  Stainless steel is very resistant to corrosion but can become corroded under certain conditions. 

What are the Health Risks for Chromium?

The current standard is based on potential adverse dermatological effects over many years, such as allergic dermatitis (skin reactions). Chromium has also been linked to liver and kidney disorders, as well as adverse impacts to the digestion system. Chromium +6 is a suspected carcinogen, but this is primarily an occupational respiratory exposure, i.e. breathing chromium dust or fumes.

What are the Standards for Chromium?

The EPA drinking water standards for total chromium is set at a maximum contaminant level or MCL of 0.1 mg/L or 100 ppb. In the USA, there is no specific standard for hexavalent chromium, but in Canada the standard is 0.05 mg/L or 50 ppb for hexavalent chromium, because of concerns related to effects on skin and the respiratory system.

Get Tested | Chromium

Like many contaminants in drinking water, the element is potentially hazardous at levels or concentrations that do not impart a noticeable taste, odor, or appearance to the water. Your best course of action is to get your water tested and compile as much information as possible about your water supply source, well construction, surrounding land-use, and local geology. If you do have a chromium problem, there are water treatment technologies available now that can reduce or even remove chromium from your drinking water.

Note: Do not test your water for just chromium because there may be other primary and secondary drinking water standards that are elevated or that may interfere with the proposed remediation system and the form of the chromium is critical.

Level 1 | Observational Self-Testing

Level 1 Testing is done with simple observations that an individual can make with their own senses such as sight, smell, and taste. These observations can be readily apparent or can be observed as they change over time. In addition, accessible related information about the home can also be used to narrow down the cause of your water issues.

Observations for Chromium

The sources for chromium in the water include:

  • You are located in an area with natural geology that is high in chromium minerals, such as chromite (FeCr2O4) or crocoite (PbCrO4). A great example is the green sand beaches in Hawaii, which are green because of chromium-bearing peridotite rock grains.
  • The area has active or inactive metal recycling facilities, cement production plants, is near a highway that may have road dust associated with catalytic converters or asbestos dust, incineration facilities, chemical plants, and metal processing facilities.
  • You are are located near a landfill or hazardous waste disposal site.
Level 1 | Self-Test Web App
To do a quick and easy self diagnosis of your water, click the button below.
Launch

Level 2 | Do-It-Yourself Testing

Level 2 Testing is Do-It-Yourself testing that can be done in your own home using a Testing Kit. After you’ve done Level 1 Testing, Level 2 Testing can confirm if your observations are correct. If your test results reveal the presence of a contaminant that is cause for concern, you can either proceed to determine the best treatment (see below) or continue to Level 3 Testing.

Notes on Level 2 Testing for Chromium

We are not aware of specific warning signs for the presence of chromium in your water.  If you use a private water source, you might suspect a problem with chromium if the drinking water appears corrosive or might have microbiological induced corrosion, or you are located in an area with a history or legacy of chromium contamination/use. If you are on city water you might want to test for chromium if you are experiencing problems associated with chemical or biological corrosion.  In general most city water is not likely to have a problem with chromium. At a minimum, we suggest a basic in-home screening test of the water and perhaps an environmental assessment using hair analysis. For private systems, we recommend conducting a Neighborhood Environmental Report.

Recommended Level 2 Tests
National Testing LabsCityCheck Standard

<div class="product-note in-L4-sulfur-treatment">Note: Use in combination with Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria Test</div>

View
National Testing LabsWaterCheck® Standard

<div class="product-note in-L4-sulfur-treatment">Note: Use in combination with Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria Test</div>

View
National Testing LabsWater Check Deluxe

<div class="product-note in-L4-carbon-filtration">Note: For rural Areas with <a href="/indoor-6/herbicides-pesticides">Herbicides and Pesticides</a> Usage</div>

View
Filter WaterFW-210 Under-Sink Reverse Osmosis System (Code A27AC)

<div class="product-note in-L6-bromate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.01 mg/L</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-uranium">Note: Uranium less than < 0.030 mg/L</div>

View
Crystal QuestCountertop Water Filter With Three Cartridges

<div class="product-note in-L6-bromate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.01 mg/L</div>
<div class="product-note in-L4-methyl-tertiary">Note: Concentrations < 40 ppb</div>

View
Crystal QuestSMART Whole-House Water Filter System

<div class="product-note in-L6-toluene">Note: If the concentration is less than 0.8 mg/L</div>

View
Recommended Products
National Testing LabsL3-NATE-C-3 | CityCheck Standard

<div class="product-note in-L4-sulfur-treatment">Note: Use in combination with Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria Test</div>

View
National Testing LabsL3-NATE-W-4 | WaterCheck® Standard

<div class="product-note in-L4-sulfur-treatment">Note: Use in combination with Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria Test</div>

View
National Testing LabsL3-NATE-W-2 | WaterCheck Deluxe

<div class="product-note in-L4-carbon-filtration">Note: For rural Areas with <a href="/indoor-6/herbicides-pesticides">Herbicides and Pesticides</a> Usage</div>

View
Filter WaterST-FILT-F-03 | FW-210 Under-Sink Reverse Osmosis System

<div class="product-note in-L6-bromate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.01 mg/L</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-uranium">Note: Uranium less than < 0.030 mg/L</div>

View
Crystal QuestST-CRYS-D-02 | Countertop Water Filter With Three Cartridges

<div class="product-note in-L6-bromate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.01 mg/L</div>
<div class="product-note in-L4-methyl-tertiary">Note: Concentrations < 40 ppb</div>

View
Crystal QuestLT-CRYS-S-01 | SMART Whole-House Water Filter System

<div class="product-note in-L6-toluene">Note: If the concentration is less than 0.8 mg/L</div>

View
Neighborhood Environmental Report

Order a Neighborhood Environmental Report to learn about potential hazards in your community.

Level 3 | Informational Testing

Level 3 Testing is done through an accredited Water Testing Laboratory. With Level 3 Testing, you can order a testing kit that is used to prepare your sample and submit it to the lab. By utilizing a lab, you have the assurance that a certified water expert had analyzed your water sample. If your test results reveal the presence of a contaminant that is cause for concern, you can either proceed to determine the best treatment options (see below) or continue to Level 4 Testing - Certified Testing.

Notes on Level 3 Testing for Chromium

For City Water users, we recommend conducting either the National Testing Labs City Water Standard Kit. For private water systems, we recommend the National Testing Labs Well Water Check Standard  (non-agricultural areas) and the Well Water Check Deluxe (agricultural areas).

Recommended Level 3 Tests
National Testing LabsCityCheck Standard

<div class="product-note in-L4-sulfur-treatment">Note: Use in combination with Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria Test</div>

View
National Testing LabsWaterCheck® Standard

<div class="product-note in-L4-sulfur-treatment">Note: Use in combination with Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria Test</div>

View
National Testing LabsWater Check Deluxe

<div class="product-note in-L4-carbon-filtration">Note: For rural Areas with <a href="/indoor-6/herbicides-pesticides">Herbicides and Pesticides</a> Usage</div>

View
Filter WaterFW-210 Under-Sink Reverse Osmosis System (Code A27AC)

<div class="product-note in-L6-bromate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.01 mg/L</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-uranium">Note: Uranium less than < 0.030 mg/L</div>

View
Crystal QuestCountertop Water Filter With Three Cartridges

<div class="product-note in-L6-bromate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.01 mg/L</div>
<div class="product-note in-L4-methyl-tertiary">Note: Concentrations < 40 ppb</div>

View
Crystal QuestSMART Whole-House Water Filter System

<div class="product-note in-L6-toluene">Note: If the concentration is less than 0.8 mg/L</div>

View

Level 4 | Certified Testing

A Level 4 Certified Test Test uses chain-of-custody with a water professional coming to your home to prepare the water sample and then works with an accredited laboratory in order to certify your test results. This type of testing not only gives you the highest level of assurance in the accuracy of your test results, but can also be used as a document in legal cases. For Baseline Testing, we recommend that you use Certified Testing.

Notes on Level 4 Testing for Chromium

If you are planning to conduct certified testing for chromium and you are on a city water source, we would suggest conducting first flush and flush testing and it would be advisable to review the Consumer Confidence Report for your system and conduct at least a National Testing Labs Standard Water Test.  If you are a private water source, we would recommend conducting the testing recommended under Level 3 and it may be advisable to order a EDR Radius Check Report with Geocheck.

Neighborhood Environmental Report

Order a Neighborhood Environmental Report to learn about potential hazards in your community.

Get Treatment | Chromium

Pretreatment may be needed in some cases to ensure acceptable treatment by the primary water treatment system. Some of the treatment technologies may not be amenable to point-of-entry or even whole-house treatment options. In these cases, point-of-use units may be the best option. Periodic testing should be maintained after the treatment system is in place to ensure objectives are being met and the system is operating properly and most systems will require maintenance on at least an annual basis.

Short Term Treatment

If it appears you are experiencing a problem with chromium, do not boil your drinking water. An interim solution may be the use of a point-of-use device or using a bottled water source or hauling in drinking water. Because other contaminants may be present in the water, it would be advisable to have the water tested before and after the use of any point-of-use device.  Private water sources may experience elevated levels of trace metals because of over-pumping conditions or biofouling.

Recommended Short-Term Treatments

<div class="product-note in-L4-sulfur-treatment">Note: Use in combination with Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria Test</div>

View

<div class="product-note in-L4-sulfur-treatment">Note: Use in combination with Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria Test</div>

View

<div class="product-note in-L4-carbon-filtration">Note: For rural Areas with <a href="/indoor-6/herbicides-pesticides">Herbicides and Pesticides</a> Usage</div>

View

<div class="product-note in-L6-bromate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.01 mg/L</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-uranium">Note: Uranium less than < 0.030 mg/L</div>

View

<div class="product-note in-L6-bromate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.01 mg/L</div>
<div class="product-note in-L4-methyl-tertiary">Note: Concentrations < 40 ppb</div>

View

<div class="product-note in-L6-toluene">Note: If the concentration is less than 0.8 mg/L</div>

View
Contact a KnowYourH2O Recommended Professional

Submit a Request for Consultation with the KnowYourH20 Team. Contact Us

Long Term Treatment

For the long-term, it may be necessary to install a water treatment system and inspect household plumbing for evidence of corrosion. For chromium, the common water treatment technologies are ion-exchange , reverse osmosis, and distillation. Depending on the technology and the concentration of chromium and other contaminants, the system may require a number of treatment approaches and a combination of a whole-house treatment and then point-of-use treatment. For the long-term, it may be necessary to install a water treatment system, plus upgrade some of the piping and fixtures within the home. Prior to installing any water treatment systems, we recommend a comprehensive initial water quality test, plus a first flush and a flush test for corrosion-related metals.

Recommended Long-Term Treatments

<div class="product-note in-L4-sulfur-treatment">Note: Use in combination with Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria Test</div>

View

<div class="product-note in-L4-sulfur-treatment">Note: Use in combination with Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria Test</div>

View

<div class="product-note in-L4-carbon-filtration">Note: For rural Areas with <a href="/indoor-6/herbicides-pesticides">Herbicides and Pesticides</a> Usage</div>

View

<div class="product-note in-L6-bromate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.01 mg/L</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-uranium">Note: Uranium less than < 0.030 mg/L</div>

View

<div class="product-note in-L6-bromate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.01 mg/L</div>
<div class="product-note in-L4-methyl-tertiary">Note: Concentrations < 40 ppb</div>

View

<div class="product-note in-L6-toluene">Note: If the concentration is less than 0.8 mg/L</div>

View
Contact a KnowYourH2O Recommended Professional

Not Up for A DIY? Need Help Identifying a Local KnowYourH20 Team Professional? Contact Us

Archive Page Reference
This is a newly redesigned Water-Research.net page. To reference related archived Water-Research.net page(s) click the link(s) below:
No items found.