San Francisco Personal Injury Attorney Reflects on Industrial Negligence in California

Recently, the Environmental Working Group analyzed the drinking water in 35 cities across the United States and found that most contained hexavalent chromium, a commonly used, until the early 1990s, in some industries, such as in chrome plating and the manufacturing of plastics and dyes, and it has the ability to leach into groundwater from natural ores. The study is the first nationwide analysis of hexavalent chromium in drinking water to be made public, and it comes at the same time the Environmental Protection Agency is considering whether to set a limit for hexavalent chromium in tap water. Currently, the federal government restricts the amount of “total chromium” in drinking water and requires water utilities to test for it, but that includes both trivalent chromium, a mineral that humans need to metabolize glucose, and hexavalent chromium, the metal that has caused cancer in laboratory animals. Last year, California took the first step in limiting the amount of hexavalent chromium in drinking water by proposing a set goal of safe levels, and if our state does set a limit, it will be the first in the nation.
Osha’s website contains interesting facts about the chemical. For example it states: workers who breathe hexavalent chromium compounds at their jobs for many years may be at increased risk of developing lung cancer. Breathing high levels of hexavalent chromium can irritate or damage the nose, throat, and lungs. Irritation or damage to the eyes and skin can occur if hexavalent chromium contacts these organs in high concentrations or for a prolonged period of time. When inhaled, Hexavalent chromium has been known to cause lung cancer, but scientists recently found evidence that it causes cancer in laboratory animals after it is ingested. It has been linked in animals to liver and kidney damage as well as leukemia, stomach cancer and other cancers. The American Chemistry Council, which represents the chemical industry, says the California goal is unrealistic because some water supplies have naturally occurring hexavalent chromium that is higher than limits proposed.
If you or a family member has been injured due to industrial negligence, please contact our office today. We have over 10 years experience fighting-and winning- personal injury lawsuits.