Report Shows Possible Cancer Causing Chemical In Salisbury Water - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Report Shows Possible Cancer Causing Chemical In Salisbury Water

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Salisbury City Water Tower (WBOC) Salisbury City Water Tower (WBOC)

SALISBURY, Md.- A new report shows possible cancer causing chemicals in Salisbury's drinking water. The chemicals scientific name is Chromium-6. It's commonly found in industrial working environments and also in textile dyes, paint and plastic. 

The Environmental Working Group (EWG), an activist research organization reported in its study that chromium-6, a carcinogenic chemical compound, has contaminated water supplies for more than 200 million Americans in all 50 states. Test conducted found chromium-6 in almost 90 percent of the water systems sampled across the country. 

The EWG said a two year study released in 2008 by the National Toxicology Program, found that drinking water with chromium-6 caused cancer in lab rats and mice. 

A 2011 study by research scientist at the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessments, found that ingesting even a tiny amount of chromium-6 could cause cancer in people. Eight out of eight sights tested in Salisbury according to the EWG report were higher than their acceptable standards. 

Cleona Mason lives in Salisbury and said the report raises questions for Salisbury City Officials.

"It's very alarming and it makes you just want to move out of the area. I want to know what are they going to do about this, what is going to happen, because you hear so many things causing cancer and you try to avoid that, but water is hard to avoid," Mason said. 

Dennis DiCintio, Wicomico County Director of Environmental Health said people living in Salisbury should not be alarmed. 

"Chromium-6 is not a regulated contaminant by the EPA, I believe only in California is it actually regulated, but the levels that we're seeing inside the City of Salisbury are very, very low and nothing to be concerned about," DiCintio said.

Salisbury Mayor Jake Day said the EWG report used the city's water sampling data already shared publicly and daily to the state and federal government.

"This is not new information, this is information about a substance that has always been and again it's naturally occurring, prevalent and existing and its at such low levels that we're not concerned about it according to the health department and EPA," Day said.

Environmental activists urge a national standard is long overdue, but a tug-o-war remains between those who want regulations strictly based on health hazards and those who want more relaxed rules based on cost. 

Mayor Day said the City of Salisbury will not take any action with its water treatment and sampling based on the EWG report. Day said the City of Salisbury is in compliance with EPA regulations and recently won a first place award in 2016 for "Best Tap Water" from the Maryland Rural Water Association. 

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