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California Proposes Hexavalent Chromium Drinking Water Standard

LA Testing provides testing services for hexavalent chromium (chromium VI) and other industrial contaminants.


Garden Grove, CA, September 5, 2013

Last month, the Los Angeles Times published a report about California’s proposed drinking water standard for hexavalent chromium. It would be the nation’s first drinking water standard for a material that gained national attention after the release of the Erin Brockovich movie.

According to the article, “At 10 parts per billion, the standard is 500 times greater than the non-enforceable public health goal set two years ago by the state Environmental Protection Agency.” It goes on to report, “The Department of Public Health described the proposed limit as a balance of public health, cost and treatment technology, but the agency acknowledged that economics were a key consideration.”

Hexavalent chromium is a toxic form of the element chromium. Hexavalent chromium compounds are man-made and widely used in many different industries. Industrial uses include chromate pigments in dyes, paints, inks, and plastics; chromates added as anticorrosive agents to paints, primers, and other surface coatings; and chromic acid electroplated onto metal parts to provide a decorative or protective coating. Hexavalent chromium can also be formed when performing hot work, such as welding on stainless steel or melting chromium metal.

One company that has extensive experience in testing for hexavalent chromium is LA Testing. “Not only can people be exposed to hexavalent chromium in drinking water, but OSHA reports that it is estimated that over 500,000 workers are also potentially exposed in the United States,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager of LA Testing’s Garden Grove facility. “LA Testing provides testing services for hexavalent chromium to help identify this material in the workplace and from environmental samples to prevent needless human exposure.”

LA Testing has sponsored an educational video about hexavalent chromium that can be seen at:

To learn more about testing for hexavalent chromium or other industrial contaminants, please visit, email or call (800) 755-1794. 

About LA Testing and EMSL Analytical, Inc.
LA Testing and EMSL Analytical are providers of environmental testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The companies have an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.



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