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A new study has found high levels of the carcinogenic metal, chromium, in the tap water in Chicago and two dozen other cities. Federal regulators are being urged to adopt higher safety standards in the wake of the study.

Although the ingestion of hexavalent chromium has been linked to cancer, the EPA does not require Chicago or other cities to test for the toxic metal, or limit the dangerous form chromium that can be present in drinking water.

The study, conducted by the Environmental Working Group, looked at tap water samples from around the nation and examined them for contaminants. Independent laboratory testing found high levels of chromium in water from 31 cities.

Last year California officials proposed a safety limit of .06 parts per billion. The levels of chromium found in the lake Michigan water that is pumped more than 7 million people in Chicago and the surrounding areas contains three times the proposed safe amount.

Levels were also high in Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin. Other notable cities that made the list include: Norman, Oklahoma; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Riverside, California.

Hopefully the study will raise awareness about the issue and spur movement toward better regulation of the nation’s drinking water.

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