Chromium Water Contamination Issues: Industry Stalls Health and Safety Progress
Chromium water pollution is a problem that should have been solved many years ago. In fact, many who have seen the movie Erin Brockovich may think the problem has already been solved. Recall that Pacific Gas & Electric Co. was forced to admit they were dumping chromium-laced water into a pond, and that it was seeping into the groundwater and giving people cancer. PG&E was forced to pay the victims’ families millions. Problem solved.
Unfortunately, reality isn’t quite that simple. Chromium-tainted water is still abundant, and tens of millions of Americans drink some every day. Meanwhile, the chemical industry continues to attempt to present highly questionable science that makes chromium’s carcinogenic properties hotly debated.
It shouldn’t be that controversial. In 2011, scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency looked at and analyzed hundreds of studies and the agency was very close to making an official determination that chromium likely causes cancer in humans when they drink it, Such a ruling would be a significant first step in creating stronger clean water rules.
It was then that the chemical industry decided to step in, and demand that EPA officials wait for them to come up with new studies, which they would pay for. The chemical industry’s main lobbying group, the American Industry Council, then hired a Texas-based group whose scientists specialized in “debunking” the research of other scientists. Their main goal was to find a way to delay regulation, especially with regard to chromium. They’d performed same sort of service in the late 1990s, when they managed to delay new OSHA rules regarding lung cancer due to chromium exposure for a full decade.
It’s become a common pattern for chemical companies to use science to delay government regulation that is supposed to make people safer. By slowing down the process by creating doubt where there should be none. This not only allows them to run their businesses with much fewer regulations and restrictions, but it gives them cover when those injured or made sick try to make a claim.
When it comes to chemicals, businesses and government agencies should always err on the side of caution, and exposure to these chemicals should be limited for workers and the public at large. The Texas Industrial Exposure Injury Lawyers at Hill Law Firm have a history of protecting people whom have suffered loss due to chemical exposure. If you have questions, feel free to call Hill Law Firm today for a free consultation.