Chrome-Plated Regulations

Remember my very first blog? Today’s LA Daily News has the fallout from their article that prompted that entry. The steps that brought us to today’s article were all too predictable. Step 1 – The USEPA establishes a new rule, this time the “Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule.” (That’s right: a rule for contaminants with no rule.) Step 2 – Water agencies dutifully comply with the law and report their findings, spending untold amounts of money and resources in the process. Step 3 – The Environmental Working Group misrepresents the data and issues a flawed report, claiming in essence that we will all die from drinking tap water, and advising us to buy home water filters (that likely will do nothing). Step 4 – Lazy journalists spout the nonsense in the EWG report without any critical examination. Step 5 – Public agencies spend more money and resources to prove to their consumers that the water is still safe to drink. Oh, and Step 6 will be coming soon: YOU need to pay for all of this nonsense.
Of particular interest to me in today’s Daily News article is the only “contaminant” named: Chromium VI. One of my favorite topics, courtesy of the distortions and falsehoods peddled by the movie “Erin Brockovich.”
As I’m reading the morning paper, I’m also eating a healthy breakfast, and taking my daily multivitamin supplement. It contains 35 micrograms of Chromium. Guess what? Without Chromium you die – it is essential to your life functions. This past August, in response to “Erin Brockovich,” the State of California proposed a standard for Chromium VI at 0.06 micrograms per liter. In establishing standards, regulatory agencies usually assume consumption of two liters of tap water per day, which would mean a maximum ingestion of 0.12 micrograms per day – about 300 times LESS than what is in my multivitamin!
(And yes, I know there are different forms of Chromium, some more dangerous than others, but they are all rendered to a healthful, non-injurious form in the stomach – it’s amazing what generations of evolution have done for us!)
In response to the forthcoming Chromium standard, water agencies will be required to spend tens of millions of dollars – and perhaps way more than that – to remove a substance for which many of us pay extra to add to our diet! Is it any wonder our public agencies are going broke? We’re spending vast sums to protect ourselves from problems that don’t exist.
I think we should treat Chromium in the same way that we treat Fluoride. Let’s look at what the optimum Chromium level is in the water supply, and require water agencies to ADD Chromium to the water, so that I don’t have to buy multivitamins.
My hat is off once again to the EWG: if your intent is to bankrupt our country, you’re doing an exceptional job. And kudos to the LA Daily News for facilitating your “victory.”

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