The only way to learn if your water source has hexavalent chromium is to check with your public water supplier and request a water quality report, said NJIT Professor Taha Marhaba, a civil/environmental engineer. Most municipal or city engineers should be able to provide such a report upon request. Additional information specifically about hexavalent chromium levels may also be available.
"In general, hexavalent chromium can be found in either surface or groundwater sources and its source can be either natural or man-made industrial operations that have used chromium," Marhaba said. "The best way to remove this and other known and un-known contaminants from the water supply to a residence is to install a five-stage reverse osmosis home unit. They cost about $300. If you have your own well, I would advise testing for hexavalent chromium."
Marhaba, http://www.njit.edu/news/experts/marhaba.php , is a professor and chair of the department of civil and environmental engineering and director of the New Jersey Applied Water Research Center at NJIT. His expertise in water quality most notably has developed what is known as the spectral fluorescent signatures (SFS) technique, which is used to rapidly identify organics in waterorganics that could be problematic. The SFS acts like a fingerprint of water, characterizing its organic content and allowing researchers to see if the water contains natural or unnatural sources. Most importantly, the SFS allows researchers to determine the organic character of watersheds and to check the water quality.
Chromium is an inorganic metallic element that is odorless and tasteless. It is found naturally in rocks, plants, soil and volcanic dust, humans and animals. The most common forms of chromium in the environment are trivalent (chromium +3), which has relative low toxicity and occurs naturally in many vegetables, fruits, meats, grains and yeas
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New Jersey Institute of Technology