In recent years, Chromium 6 contamination of the groundwater in the San Fernando Valley has led authorities to identify numerous companies as responsible for the danger. Recently, however, Walt Disney Studios in Burbank has been identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a possible responsible party, according to The Los Angeles Times.
Chromium 6 is a heavy metal used in many manufacturing industries that has been proven to cause cancer in those exposed to enough of the toxins. While various other companies have been proven as a source of chromium in the groundwater, Disney is not currently a proven cause of the contamination. Tests found Chromium 6 in a park near the studios that commonly received discharged water from their cooling system; as such, the EPA asked Disney for the details and history of their cooling system in 2011.
Disney has stated that while they stored some chrome-based material used to clean film processing equipment, they properly disposed of the waste and that discharged water showed low levels of chromium that were within city limits. While the studios originally relied on wells pumping pre-cooled and pre-heated water through the buildings, which was dumped into basins and the L.A. River, the system was replaced in 1993. However, this current system uses cooling towers, which have been shown as a source of Chromium 6 contamination at other sites.
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