Who Is Erin Brockovich and What Is Chromium-6

For those of you old enough to remember, in 2000 a popular movie starring Julia Roberts was released.

The movie was titled simply “Erin Brockovich.”  So, who was Erin Brockovich, you may ask?

Erin Brockovich worked for a law firm in the small California town of Hinkley.

The movie centers around Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) and their use of chemical called chromium-6 to prevent rust from corroding their cooling system.

The chemical runoff was disposed of in unlined wastewater ponds.  You can probably guess what happened next.  Right, the chromium leaked into the water supply.

In the early 1990s, PG&E undertook a $12.5 million cleanup effort.  Part of that effort was to offer to purchase houses and farms of some affected citizens.

Chromium-6, is a carcinogenic chemical that was featured in the movie.  I am not going to describe the plot of the movie as fact, because it is a movie based on an actual incident.

The fact is that over a period of 15 to 20 years the residents of Hinkley, California a small town in the Mohave desert of California drank, bathed and swam in water polluted by this dangerous chemical.

The law firm where Brockovich worked began interviewing affected home owners.  Brockovich, as a law firm employee, found many documents describing chromium-6 as a carcinogen (causes cancer).

Every article clearly depicts that people who have been exposed, have chronic nose bleeds, kidney problems and colon problems according to Brockovich.

A judge finally ordered PG&E to pay a settlement amount of $333 million to be distributed among the plaintiffs.

Well, now, September 2016, chromium-6, in a new report, rears its ugly head, showing up in very high levels in public drinking water sources in some major residential areas.

I’ll tell you all about it in a post tomorrow.

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