The NASF’s Christian Richter and Jeff Hannapel report that the plating group and other manufacturing industries are calling for science to guide decisions on EPA chromium-6 risk assessments. Richter says that the NASF and industry supporters continue to press EPA with a request to consider new industry data and analysis as part of the agency’s final health risk assessment for chromium-6.
“The risk assessment this year has generated considerable controversy on several fronts,” says Richter. “In January, Senate Environment Committee Chair Barbara Boxer heard testimony on Capitol Hill from Erin Brockovich and introduced legislation on the issue, warning EPA it was not moving quickly enough to address health concerns over the chemical.”
Hannapel says the issue gained national attention after activists at Environmental Working Group sampled tap water over a year ago in cities across the U.S. and found concentrations of the chemical in household drinking water. He says some drinking water utilities have cautioned lawmakers that costs are significant to remove low levels of chromium that may not be problematic for human health. Meanwhile, Richter says as the EPA has worked to finalize the chromium-6 risk estimate, several experts on EPA’s scientific review panel have formally expressed concerns about EPA’s methods in evaluating and making conclusions from the current data and literature. They say the agency has already delayed its final decision until further analysis is completed.