LOS ANGELES (AP) — State environmental regulators say they have settled on an acceptable level for the carcinogen hexavalent chromium in drinking water, the first step in protecting the public.

The state Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday announced that the amount of hexavalent chromium, or chromium-6, that doesn’t pose a significant health risk is 0.02 parts per billion. This means for every million people who drink tap water with that level of chromium every day for 70 years, there is likely to be one case of cancer.

State law requires the agency to provide scientific guidance so the state Department of Public Health can develop enforceable drinking water standards.

The dangers of chromium contamination in water were publicized in the Oscar winning movie “Erin Brockovich.”

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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