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UPDATED — Cancerous Chemical Found in Franklin County, Central Ohio Water

614now Staff

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Update: Columbus Public Utilities had this to say via Facebook on the information contained in Environmental Working Group’s information, “The story/study references a substance that is not yet regulated by the EPA so we are not required to report those numbers. However, we have proactively tested for hexavalent chromium. California set an arbitrary maximum contaminant level goal (MCLG) at 0.02 parts per billion (ppb, below the level of detection) and their maximum contaminant level (MCL) at 10 ppb. In 2014, our highest results for hexavalent chromium was 0.35 ppb. The EPA does regulate total chromium with an MCL of 100 ppb. Columbus’ highest total chromium level is .58 ppb, less than 1 part per billion.”

We followed up with Laura Mohr, a Public Relations Specialist for the Columbus Public Utilities, “They [Environmental Working Group] are making some leaps. They’re assuming that California works for everyone.” She said. She specifically mentioned that the metrics that California have set are somewhat arbitrary for the rest of the country and what really matters are the guidelines that the EPA have set.

“We’re following the Total Chromium Allowance guide that has been set by the EPA.” Laura said, “We’re required to test for hexavalent chromium [chromium-6], and we test for Total PPB with a maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 100 PPB, Columbus is at less than 1 ppb. We tested this so that we’re ahead of the curve for when the EPA does deliver new guidelines.”

So there you have it Columbus, according to the Public Utilities, the Environmental Working Group is taking some liberties with their information.


The Environmental Working Group , an independent advocacy, has found an unsafe amount of chromium-6, a cancerous chemical in central Ohio water systems.  Chromium-6 has caused cancer in lab rats and mice and is found in these affected counties:

  • Franklin
  • Crawford
  • Delaware
  • Fayette
  • Licking
  • Knox
  • Marion
  • Union

All five water systems in Franklin County tested positive for chromium-6 according to an interactive map of the country.

“Whether it is chromium-6, PFOA or lead, the public is looking down the barrel of a serious water crisis across the country that has been building for decades,” Erin Brockovich, famed lawyer known for her previous roles in a chromium-6 lawsuit, said in a written statement Tuesday.

Scientists from California recommend a parts per billion of 0.02 of chromium-6 in the water but Franklin County tested positive with an average of 0.203 ppb and went all the way to 0.460ppb.

The Columbus Dept. of Public Utilities sits 9th on average levels in the country at 0.207

The federal drinking water standard for total chromium is 0.1 mg/l or 100 ppb, all levels are below the USEPA standard.

There are filters that you can buy, according to PBS, that will filter out chromium-6 from your water.

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Health & Fitness

Truth or Trend: Does “detox water” really work?

Becca Kirian RD, LD, CNSC

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Water, H20, aqua: the most basic of necessities for human life. Water is a vital part of many bodily functions, including removal of waste products, but can we make water even “better” for us as a “detox water?"

Simple answer: no.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B1F2t7Vg91U/?igshid=9icqe17xmslg

H20, i.e. two hydrogen atoms connected to an oxygen atom, is the chemical identity of water. This specific formation is what separates it from other molecules, and makes it the most vital substance to human existence.

Soaking things in your water like ginger, cinnamon, or cucumbers can alter the taste but will not chemically alter the structure. Water infusions like the ones listed in the post above can taste great, but water is still H20 and will function as such.

That being said, water infusions are not bad; in fact if you’re struggling to meet your daily intake, water infusions are often an idea I suggest to patients and clients. Mixing up the flavors can bring water can elevate the flavor, making it easier to drink throughout the day!

Take-away: Don’t let social media tell you water can be changed to a magical detox; water is already an amazing life giving drink. Instead, use social media for inspiration for trying a new tasty drink that might help you get the adequate hydration you’ve been struggling to get!

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Health & Fitness

Truth or Trend: 30 Day Challenges

Becca Kirian RD, LD, CNSC

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@DietBetch, a popular Instagram account with over 213k followers, tends to post memes that subtly poking fun at our diet culture. But recently, I was disappointed to see a post about a "30 Day Challenge" that reinforces the unhealthy, fad diet-obsessed world we live in.

This "30 Day Challenge" prohibits participants from consuming foods that many people often associate with being “unhealthy” like soda, candy, and doughnuts.

As a dietitian, I’m not going to disagree that the foods listed do tend to be higher in nutrients of concerns—like added sugars and salt, and overall calories—but, I absolutely believe they can be part of a balanced diet.

By completely removing foods from the diet with a 30 Day Challenge like this, one will simply think, “No…for this month." This purge-style challenge won't teach healthy sustainable eating habits like intuitive eating or portion control.

Take-away: Instead of tagging a friend for a restrictive diet challenge that doesn’t set either of you up for long-term success, try implementing a small sustainable change. Maybe instead of going out for fast food every day of the workweek with a friend, you both could try packing once a week and share recipes and meal ideas!

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Health & Fitness

Truth or Trend: “His” vs “Her” portions

Becca Kirian RD, LD, CNSC

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It’s not uncommon to scroll through Instagram and see beautiful plates of food labeled “his” and “hers.” Typically the “his” plate is larger in all portions of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.

But, this depiction of portioning is inaccurate and can be damaging to the way women satisfy their hunger.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BmBjeBnB5jb/

Gender does not determine the quantity of food people “should” eat. From a science perspective, there are so many variables that affect metabolic rates that are not specific to sex, such as amount of muscle mass, fat mass, location of these deposits, physical activity, and more. 

For example, a very active, self-identified woman with high lean body mass can have significantly higher maintenance caloric needs compared to a more sedentary male identifying person. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bxnh7yaFftA/

Take-away: Don’t let social media tell you that gender determines the amount you deserve to eat. Listen to your body and your hunger cues. Fuel your body for what you need!

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