FAIR LAWN, N.J. — Feelings of fear and uncertainty swept across New Jersey when a report revealing the presence of cancer-causing carcinogen Chromium-6 in water systems was released.
Among those not affected by Wednesday's report were Adi Oren and her husband, Michael, of Fair Lawn, though.
Oren, who works for Israeli water solution company Aquatal , has relied on the Israeli-made filtration unit in her kitchen to protect her from the lead, 1.4-dioxane and now chromium-6 that have her neighbors worried for their health.
"As a resident and a mother-to-be I have never felt so concerned with our drinking water quality and the health risks that arise," she said.
Aquatal pairs its countertop units with specialized filters and dispensers for each territory it services — including India, Mexico, Chile and several more.
Each region has its own system designed to protect against the specific pollutants found in its water supply.
No lead. No 1.4-dioxane. No chromium-6 — just 3,000 gallons of good, clean water.
"Wanting to use the faucet and drink water without concern is a basic necessity," Aquatal partner Erez Zipori told Daily Voice.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has not created a federal maximum contaminant level for chromium-6. In 2011, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) established a public health goal for chromium-6 of 0.02 ug/L.
The Chromium-6 levels in some New Jersey municipalities are higher than the standards in California.
"They're not life threatening," Zipori said. "But nobody can prediect what the side effects will be in 20 years from now.
The Environmental Protection Association's Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Regulation (UCMR 3) requires many — but not all — public water systems to monitor chromium-6 for a one-year period.
The EPA is reviewing data from a 2008 long-term animal study by the Department of Health and Human Service's National Toxicology Program, which suggested that chromium-6 may be a human carcinogen if ingested, its website says, according to a response from the Water Quality Association.
When the review is completed, EPA will consider this and other information to determine whether the drinking water standard for total chromium needs to be revised.
"You can't wait for the government to do something — you have to protect yourself," Zipori said.
"With all the resources that the U.S. has and the knowledge available you'd expect better solutions and less incidents like this."
Email Adi Oren (email@example.com) or Erez Zipori (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more.