Recent studies of various ground and drinking water sources have detected toxic levels of Cr(VI). This dangerous trend has gained the attention of national and worldwide health organizations, such as the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The California Department of Public Health included Cr(VI) as an unregulated chemical requiring monitoring in 2001. Based on recent data, one in two public wells in Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Fresno counties were found to contain Cr(VI) concentrations nearly 100 times higher than the Public Health Goal of 0.02 μg/L established in July 2011.
Because chromium exists in two oxidation states, it is important to differentiate between the nutrient, Cr(III), and the poison, Cr(VI) in samples. An HPLC-ICP-MS method using the Hamilton PRP-X100 has been developed in order to determine relative abundance of Cr(III) and Cr(VI) in diverse sample matrices.