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Vitamin C protects against water pollution

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

effects of chromium in drinking water

Story at-a-glance -

  • Despite a massive lawsuit against Pacific Gas and Electric in 1996, spearheaded by Erin Brockovich, the known carcinogen, hexavalent chromium, pollutes water supplies across the U.S.; research shows vitamin C and epigallocatechin gallate found in green tea, protect cells against the cytotoxic effects
  • In 2010 the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found hexavalent chromium affected 74 million U.S. citizens; by 2016 the number jumped to 200 million, and researchers from Olivet Nazarene reported 250 million in 2019
  • Even in small amounts, hexavalent chromium, also known as chromium-6, may trigger skin burns, pneumonia and complications during childbirth; the EWG maintains a database and interactive map of water testing for chromium-6 where you may search for your home county
  • Vitamin C is also effective against air pollution, reducing the symptoms of asthma, and epigallocatechin gallate may help prevent obesity, improve exercise performance and lower your risk of heart attack and stroke

In 1996, the little town of Hinkley, California, won a massive arbitration against Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E). You might recall the story as the basis for the movie “Erin Brockovich,” in which a single mother and small-town attorney went up against a utility company that had been dumping hexavalent chromium into an unlined pond.

At the time of the settlement, the case was the largest payout ever awarded for a direct-action lawsuit and environmental advocates were excited about the possibilities. Unfortunately, Hinkley has become a ghost town and hexavalent chromium has continued to contaminate water supplies across the U.S.


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