Drug information provided by: IBM Micromedex. However, in the ‘side effects’ listed below, we cite a few unfortunate cases where humans ingested hexavalent chromium compounds. In fact, chromium 6 has been found in water provided by the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission. Insulin is essential for metabolism and storage of carbs, fats, and proteins in the body. In some people, it may be a reason for diarrhea or irritability. Other adverse health effects associated with chromium-6 exposure, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), include skin irritation or ulceration, allergic contact dermatitis, occupational asthma, nasal irritation and ulceration, perforated nasal septa, rhinitis, nosebleed, respiratory irritation, nasal cancer, sinus cancer, eye irritation and damage, perforated eardrums, kidney damage, liver damage, pulmonary congestion and edema, epigastric pain, and erosion and discoloration of one's teeth. Chromium has been used safely in a small number of studies using doses of 200-1000 mcg daily for up to 2 years. However, it is reviewing health effects data of hexavalent chromium and may set limits on its levels in drinking water in the future. Chronic inhalation of chromium-6 has been shown to increase the risk of lung cancer and may also damage the small capillaries in kidneys and intestines. Any Maryland household with children should pay especially close attention to the quality of their drinking water. Chromium exposure can cause skin and eye irritation, for example. While the above effects are perhaps the most serious effects of chromium exposure through drinking water, they are far from the only ones. The most compelling case for human health problems caused by chromium-6 in drinking water is the lawsuit that inspired the film, "Erin Brockovich," starring Julia Roberts. The chromium exposure uncovered by the real-life Erin Brockovich resulted in the largest ever direct action lawsuit settlement. As of December 2010, the EPA has not established a safety standard for chromium-6 in drinking water. Though chromium occurs in nature mostly as chrome iron ore and is widely found in soils and plants, it is rare in natural waters. Other Effects of Chromium Exposure Through Drinking Water. Maryland Receives $20M for Water Improvement Projects from the EPA. It is also needed for the breakdown of proteins and fats. EPA currently seeks voluntary monitoring of hexavalent chromium in drinking water by municipalities. In soil, chromium(III) predominates. CrO42- or HcrO4- and chromium(III) as Cr(OH)n(3-n)+. In 2010, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) tested tap water in 35 U.S. cities and found chromium-6 in 31 of them (89 percent). Chromium-6 was made famous in the 2000 biographical film \"Erin Brockovich,\" starring Julia Roberts as the titular activist. Hexavalent chromium may also cause asthma, nasal ulcers, convulsions, acute gastroenteritis, and damage to the liver and kidneys. NIOSH considers all chromium-6 compounds to be potential occupational carcinogens. Carcinogenic Effects Many workers are exposed to chromium-6 during the production of stainless steel, chromate chemicals, and chromate pigments. Chromium(VI) can easily be reduced to chromium(III) by organic matter, for example, and its occurrence in soil is often the result of human activities. Learn more about chromium … Hinkley’s ground water contained concentrations as high as 580 parts per billion, more than 10 times California’s current drinking water standard of 50 ppb for total chromium compounds. No side effects or overdoses have been reported for chromium. A possible source of chromium exposure is waste dumps for chromate-producing plants causing local air or water pollution. [1,10,11] In 2010, the Environmental Working Group analyzed samples of drinking water from 35 American cities. There is not enough evidence to show that taking chromium supplements improves the way your body uses sugar (glucose tolerance). The placenta is the organ with the highest chromium amounts. Stop using chromium picolinate and call your doctor at once if you have: thinking problems, trouble concentrating; problems with balance or coordination; or In Russia, exposure to chromium hexavalent is widely blamed for premature senility. Even if the water is leaving the water processing plant clean, it may be contaminated by old or leaking pipes and the like. The current standard is based on potential adverse dermatological effects over many years, such as allergic dermatitis (skin reactions). It is found in a variety of foods but the amount in each type of food is not always easy to determine. One of the most dangerous contaminants, especially for Maryland residents, is hexavalent chromium (AKA chromium 6). Male workers who had been exposed to high levels of chromium at the workplace experienced a lower sperm count. Primary information, health benefits, side effects, usage, and other important details Chromium is an essential mineral , consumed through the diet. Chromium seems to have few side effects. The potentially adverse health effects of chromium-6 in drinking water have become an issue of growing concern nationwide. Although there was some question whether the number of cancer cases in Hinkley was higher than normal, and how much of a danger the chromium-6 actually posed, the case was settled in 1996 for $333 million—the largest settlement ever paid in a direct-action lawsuit in U.S. history. Side effects associated with use of Chromium, include the following: cognitive dysfunction; headache; insomnia; irritability; mood changes; motor dysfunction; perceptual dysfunction; sleep disturbances; weight gain (high dose) anemia; rupture of red blood cells; low levels of red blood cells (thrombocytopenia) low blood sugar levels; Rare side effects of Chromium include: In September 2010, the EPA launched a reassessment of chromium-6 when it released a draft human health assessment that proposes classifying chromium-6 as a likely carcinogenic to humans who ingest it. EPA regularly re-evaluates drinking water standards and, based on new science on chromium-6, began a rigorous … Further, the sperm experienced lower motility, meaning they were less mobile and energetic. However, you couldn’t blame Maryland residents for wanting cleaner water. Other, generally minor side effects of chromium supplementation have been reported. Chromium picolinate side effects. In addition to cancer and reproductive harm, short and long-term exposures can lead to eye and respiratory irritation, asthma attacks, nasal ulcers, dermal burns, anemia, acute gastroenteritis, vertigo, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, convulsions, ulcers, and damage or failure of the liver and kidneys. Concerning those studies, the National Toxicology Program has said that chromium-6 in drinking water shows "clear evidence of carcinogenic activity” in laboratory animals and increases the risk of gastrointestinal tumors. What Is Fracking, Hydrofracking or Hydraulic Fracturing? The human body contains approximately 0.03 ppm of chromium. Some people experience side effects such as skin irritation, headaches, dizziness, nausea, mood changes, impaired thinking, judgment, and coordination. Fortunately, by using a filtration system, such as the Hague WaterMax® BEQ, you can reduce chromium levels. Some people experience side effects such as skin irritation, headaches, dizziness, nausea, mood changes and impaired thinking, judgment, and coordination. Similar findings were observed in animal studies. It is also difficult to determine if a per… The EPA has established a maximum contaminant level of 0.1 mg/L for total chromium in drinking water. Call us or request a FREE WATER TEST today! However, by using a Hague WaterMax® BEQ, made specifically for filtering city water, you can get clean water straight from the tap, throughout your entire home. Wastewater from the cooling towers, containing chromium-6, was discharged into unlined ponds and seeped into the groundwater and contaminated the town's drinking water. How it functions in the body as a supplement is not well known. Chromium supplements can be found in several forms including chromium polynicotinate, chromium histidinate, chromium chloride and chromium picolinate. Chromium may be linked to other cancers as well. In many cases, the chromium levels reported fall on the right side of EPA guidelines. Pacific Gas and Electric was forced to pay $333 million after wastewater contaminated with hexavalent chromium leaked into nearby groundwater. Site Map| Privacy policy| © 2019 Water Softeners, Water Conditioners, Water Filtration, Water Treatment, Plumbing, Annapolis, Washington DC. Lack of chromium may lead to nerve problems and may decrease the body's ability to use sugar properly. This article examines the evidence to determine the benefits of chromium picolinate. Water samples in 25 of those cities contained chromium-6 at concentrations higher than the "safe maximum" (0.06 parts per billion) proposed by California regulators, but far below the safety standard of 100 ppb for all types of chromium combined that was established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Find everything you need to know about chromium picolinate (CRM), including what it is used for, warnings, reviews, side effects, and interactions. The background document reviews microbial, chemical and radiological aspects of drinking-water, and addresses the chemical aspects of chromium toxicity: general description; environmental levels and human exposure; kinetics and metabolism in laboratory animals and humans; effects on laboratory animals and in vitro test systems; The EPA expects to complete the health-risk assessment and make a final determination about the cancer-causing potential of chromium-6 through ingestion in 2011 and will use the results to determine whether a new safety standard is needed. The bes… Rarely, the mineral may cause certain serious conditions, which must be reported to the doctor as early as possible. There is very little evidence of chromium-6 in drinking water causing cancer or other adverse health effects in humans. Chromium-6 exposure also occurs during work activities such as stainless-steel welding, thermal cutting, and chrome plating. Larry West is an award-winning environmental journalist and writer. According to a review of clinical trials, chromium increases insulin function and helps … Chromium supplements are often used as a weight-loss aid and to control blood sugar. The lawsuit alleged that Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) had contaminated groundwater with chromium-6 in the California town of Hinkley, leading to a high number of cancer cases. But what is it, and why is it a concern? However, check with your health care professional if you notice any unusual effects while you are taking it. Tap Water in 42 States Contaminated by Chemicals, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These changes are immensely complex, and if biological processes are disturbed, it could have cascading effects. These findings encourage the use of Chromium in weight loss programs. Other adverse health effects associated with chromium-6 exposure, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), include skin irritation or … Most importantly, chromium 6 is a dangerous carcinogen, which means it can cause cancer. Hexavalent chromium may also cause asthma, nasal ulcers, convulsions, acute gastroenteritis, and damage to the liver and kidneys. Chromium is believed to help the body process carbohydrates and fats.1 It is marketed as a weight loss aid for dieters and an ergogenic (muscle-building) aid for bodybuilders and athletes. It could manifest as an occupational hazard, such as in metallurgy and electroplating jobs, or through contamination of water. PG&E operates a compressor station for natural gas pipelines at Hinkley, and chromium-6 was used in cooling towers at the site to prevent corrosion. Hinkley has since become a ghost town. Chromium exposure can cause skin and eye irritation, for example. PG&E later paid nearly as much to settle additional chromium-6-related claims in other California communities. Headache, vomiting, are some other common chromium side effects. The body goes through many changes throughout childhood. Chromium poisoning, also known as chromium toxicity or heavy metal poisoning, refers to all the effects related to poisoning as a result of exposure or contact with some forms of chromium. Both of these conditions could result in lower fertility. There have been some reports of chromium causing occasional irregular heartbeats, sleep disturbances, headaches , mood changes, and allergic reactions. Rather, it underscored the lack of confirmed knowledge and clear guidelines concerning the level at which chromium-6 in drinking water becomes a public health hazard. Many households that rely on city water are rightly worried about exposure to chromium and other dangerous contaminants. Chromium-6 is recognized as a human carcinogen when it is inhaled. Chromium 6 has been linked to male infertility. This heavy metal was the subject of the classic movie “Erin Brockovich,” starring Julia Roberts. Chromate dusts and acids can permanently damage your eyes if they come into direct contact, and other kinds of skin contact may lead to allergic dermatitis, corrosion, skin … Some people have reported fast, irregular heartbeats after taking chromium, and still others believe … Unfortunately, if you have children in your household, the dangers of chromium in your drinking water are all the more real. Being exposed to excessive levels of chromium can lead to serious medical complications. That doesn't mean the EPA was declaring drinking water with a chromium-6 safe for human consumption. Chromium has been found to stunt child development and could have lasting effects throughout your child’s life. Chromium is a dangerous substance and the residents of Hinkley, California were exposed to high levels of chromium due to negligence. The WaterMax BEQ uses a multi-step process  to reduce or eliminate chromium 6 and other dangerous contaminants. Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Daily intake strongly depends upon feed levels, and is usually approximately 15-200 μg, but may be as high as 1 mg. Chromium uptake is 0.5-1%, in other words very small. In water, chromium(III) is a positive ion that forms hydroxides and complexes, and is adsorbed at Chromium works by aiding the action of insulinin the body. And many turn to bottled water as a result. Diabetes. Even if hexavalent chromium doesn’t ring a bell, you’ve probably heard about it before. On the flip side, chromium can also provide health benefits to humans. Chromium(IV) has toxic and carcinogenic properties, whereas high levels of chromium(III) could even lead to damaging of the DNA. Residents suffered higher cancer rates than the general population, and chromium exposure may have resulted in other medical conditions as well. This is especially true if you’re relying on city water in Maryland. Most formulas will supply 200 to 600 micrograms of Chromium per day, in the form of Chromium … Evidence of Adverse Health Effects From Chromium-6 in Tap Water. The process of chromium entering our systems at toxic levels is known as chromium toxicity. Nearly 200 million Americans across all 50 states have been exposed through their tap water to higher-than-recommended levels of chromium-6, a cancer-causing chemical, according to a new report. Chromium is one of the most common skin sensitizers and often causes skin sensitizing effect in the general public. Research on the benefits of chromium to enhance fat loss and increase performance in bodybuilders and athletes has provided mixed results. Poisoning is especially pronounced when organisms come into contact with hexavalent chromium, including its compounds, due to its high levels of toxicity. While the above effects are perhaps the most serious effects of chromium exposure through drinking water, they are far from the only ones. Let’s take a look. He won the Edward J. Meeman Award for Environmental Reporting. Unfortunately, the water coming out of your tap may be contaminated with various heavy metals and other pollutants. Niacin, or vitamin B-3, is cleaved from the chromium molecule in CDG once it is absorbed by your body. Chromium helps your body use sugar properly. Production of the most water soluble forms of chromium, the chromate and dichromates, was in the range of 250,000 tons in 1992. The level of chromium entering a body orally is … People exposed to high levels of chromium are more likely to suffer lung cancer and nasal sinus cancer. Excess niacin through over-supplementation of CDG and from other sources may cause: 1. side effects 2. including itching or burning of the skin 3. headache 4. blurred vision 5. nausea 6. vomiting 7. diarrhea 8. heartburn 9. bloating Other, more severe side effects of niacin oversupplementation include dizziness, rapid heartbeat and a yellowing of the skin, called jaundice. Further information It is found in trace amounts in plant products, specifically grains. The dangerous contaminant has been found in Baltimore, Bethesda, Annapolis, Bowie, Rockville, and many other cities in Prince George’s and Montgomery County. Both of these cancers have a high mortality rate. You can save money, reduce your impact on the environment, and even cut energy costs all while enjoying safer, cleaner water. The hexavalent chromium compounds that residents were exposed to were genotoxic carcinogens. Chromium Side Effects. 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