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Carcinogenic hexavalent chromium found in one-third of California's drinking water

(NaturalNews) A third of all drinking water sampled in California is contaminated with hexavalent chromium, a carcinogen, say environmental groups in a lawsuit targeting the state's Department of Public Health.

In their suit, the National Resources Defense Council, along with the Environmental Working Group, contend that the Legislature ordered the state's top health agency to develop drinking water standards for the carcinogen by January 2004, but so far the department has declined to do so. The suit claims the delay is unjustified and is asking the court to impose a faster deadline.

"Made famous by the 2000 film 'Erin Brockovich,' hexavalent chromium is a known carcinogen and drinking water contaminant," the complaint says. "At least one-third of drinking water sources sampled statewide - sources that provide drinking water to tens of millions of Californians - are contaminated with hexavalent chromium concentrations higher than those that the state deems to pose no significant health risk."

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