Dangerous Chemicals Found in NJ Drinking Water


Crystallized Hexavalent Chromium

By Katie Durot, Staff Writer

In a recent study conducted by water-testing laboratories all across the state, it’s been discovered that there has been a spike in levels of chromium -6 or hexavalent chromium. Hexavalent chromium is a metal that has been linked to lung cancer, liver damage, and developmental problems, and was found in about 75% of all water samples across the nation.

Hexavalent chromium has always been found in New Jersey drinking water, but it was always below the standard used by New Jersey officials. This dangerous agent can spur lung cancer if the crystals are inhaled, and it puts citizens at risk for stomach tumors if consumed. According to the report, almost every single sample taken from twenty-five waterways in Bergen and Passaic Counties tested positive for hexavalent chromium.  In 2010, New Jersey officials pushed for the standard to be lowered to 0.07 particles per billion, but the movement never progressed due to Governor Christie’s lack to appoint new officials to the Drinking Water Quality Institute in over four years.  At this time, it is still undecided at what level chromium -6 becomes a danger to humans.

We asked the students of Wayne Hills for their input on the subject, Nieve Petrie, sophomore, says that she “deserves to know if there is a cancer-causing metal in my drinking water” and that she “hopes the standards will be lowered to ensure the safety of New Jersey citizens”.