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Chromium 6 - Our Guest from Hollywood

By Dr. Patrick Flanagan

I am Dr Patrick Flanagan, and this is the latest edition of my Dr Health Secrets newsletter.

Lately I have written about toxins in our water and food supply. This installment is about a toxin that got a lot of attention in Hollywood. This newsletter is about chromium 6 and its effects on your body.

Hollywood, Hollywood, Here I Come...

My guest today in my focus on toxic water can easily say, and with confidence, that it owes all of its success and great notice to one little Hollywood movie.

Yes, that movie was year 2000's Erin Brockovich, starring the caustic chromium 6, and co-starring the fabulous Mrs. Julia Roberts. The film publicized the chromium 6 poisoning of Hinkley, California by the powerful and successful PG and E Corporation, which ultimately resulted in an Oscar win for Julia Roberts, and the highlighting of a growing concern over toxic chemical plants and their poisoning of public drinking water.

Chromium-6 is used in dyes, pigments, leather tanning, wood preserving, and chrome plating.

Chromium-6 is a by-product of metal plating and is classified as a carcinogen when inhaled as particles or fumes. When chromium-6 gets into water, the effects are equally as damaging.

Out of 1,591 National Priority List sites identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 1,036 were found to have chromium-6 in them.

Scientists as well as many health officials argue that no level of chromium 6 is safe for the human body. Water officials, however, argue that there is no scientific proof that any of these allegations are true. These "officials say that there is not enough proof to verify that chromium-6 truly causes health problems, but a judge in Hinkley, CA readily disagreed.

This disagreement cost PG&E hundreds of millions of dollars, and cost a town pain, anguish, and devastating disease.

I am willing to stand behind hundreds of sick individuals much faster than I am willing to stand behind a state official that is required to make budget concessions as well as health decisions.

What's The Verdict?

The health implications of chromium-6 run far and wide, and exposure, even in small amounts, can be deadly. Major corporations know the cost of cleanup, and even more importantly, they know the cost of lawsuit. What people don't know won't hurt them, but what they do know already has.

Health problems listed among those who have suffered from chromium-6 exposure include liver cancer, kidney failure, respiratory distress, circulatory problems, gastrointestinal ailments, reproductive problems, and other cancers of the brain and bodily organs.

Also cited as "lesser side- effects were nosebleeds, headaches, benign tumors, hair loss, and many more. I have said it before and I will say it again; being bald with a bleeding nose while nursing a headache is not exactly my idea of "lesser side-effects."

Light At The End of The Tunnel

Aside from educating millions of people on the hazards of chromium-6, Erin Brockovich also managed to scare scores of people into hospital rooms nationwide, searching and looking for any signs of toxic chemical exposure.

The fear is understandable, and it is much more real than many would care to think, but there are things that can be done to better the situation.

The best solution is get information about your local water supply (see RESOURCE BOX) and then to get a highly advanced water filter for your house. Quality filters can range in the thousands of dollars, but clean water is much cheaper and easier than medical problems later in your life. Nothing feels as good as a shower without chlorinated water!

Remember, the problem with drinking distilled water is that your body is designed to drink water with minerals in it. So try adding minerals to your water and see how you feel. And some mineralized bottled water sources are great, as long as they are rigorously tested as many premium bottled waters are.

About The Author

Dr. Patrick Flanagan

For more information about your local water supply, visit:, and look for The Clean Water Action Project of 2002, performed by the Ralph Nader Group.


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