Erin Brockovich's Carcinogen Lands in San Jose

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A new study of tap water has some in San Jose concerned. (Published Tuesday, Dec 21, 2010)

    Someone in San Jose might want to call Julia Roberts and ask her for Erin Brockovich's number.

    A study conducted by an environmental group of the drinking water of 35 American cities found that most contained hexavalent chromium, a carcinogen brought to national attention by the 2000 movie "Erin Brockovich."

    The study released by the Environmental Working Group found that San Jose had the fourth highest amounts of hexavalent chromium in drinking water in the nation at 1.34 ppb.

    California took a step last year to help curb the problem by proposing a safe level of .06 ppb. The only other California cities found on the list are Sacramento, Riverside and los Angeles. Riverside was the only California city with more hexavalent chromium in its drinking water than San Jose.

    San Jose officials downplayed the study in a statement.

    "Water delivered by the San Jose Municipal Water system meets all drinking water standards set by the US-EPA and the California Department of Public Health," the statement read. "Our customers can feel confident that the water we supply is safe to drink."

    Hexavalent chromium has been found to cause lung cancer when inhaled but only recently has it been thought to be dangerous when ingested.