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National Drinking Water Database

National Drinking Water Database - Chemical Contaminants


Status: Unregulated - EPA has not established a maximum legal limit in tapwater for this contaminant.

1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene is a chemical intermediate, industrial solvent, and component of gasoline, coal tar and petroleum products.

Found above
health guidelines
Found above
legal limit
Water utilities
People Served

Health Concerns for 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene:

1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene Exposure by State

Water utilities in 24 states have reported detecting 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene in treated tap water since 2004, according to EWG's analysis of water quality data supplied by state water agencies.

StateWater Suppliers with 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene contamination
Rhode Island299,299
New Jersey261,900
New Mexico156,000
New York1634,134
North Carolina83,537
New Hampshire82,551

The Most Polluted Communities

138 water utilities reported detecting 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene in tap water since 2004, according to EWG's analysis of water quality data supplied by state water agencies

Ranked by highest average 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene level

RankSystem Population Served Positive test results of total reported tests Average Level
1Freedom Sanitary District
Kaukauna, WI
1,0001 of 149 ppb
(49 ppb)
2Collingwood Associates, L.P.
King Of Prussia, NY
3601 of 314.67 ppb
(0 to 44 ppb)
Stewartsville, MO
7321 of 28.33 ppb
(0 to 16.67 ppb)
4Winterset Municipal Waterworks
Winterset, IA
4,7681 of 16 ppb
(6 ppb)
5Round Lake
Round Lake, MN
4243 of 45.7 ppb
(0 to 20.95 ppb)
6Flathead Co Water District NO 8
Whitefish, MT
3501 of 45.25 ppb
(0 to 21 ppb)
7Durham Park Wsc
Liberty Hill, TX
5582 of 64.59 ppb
(0 to 27 ppb)
8Jericho Underhill Water
Underhill, VT
8253 of 64.58 ppb
(0 to 19.3 ppb)
9Cedar Hollow Mobile Home Park
Wappingers Falls, NY
2001 of 14.4 ppb
(4.4 ppb)
10City of Nebraska City
Nebraska City, NE
6,5911 of 173.79 ppb
(0 to 64.5 ppb)

Testing Summary for 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene

Are tests routinely required for 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene by federal law?No
Water suppliers reporting tests for 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene (2004-2009):20,723 of 47,576
Average testing rate for water supplier reporting tests (2004-2009):0.6 per year

Occupational hazards

Type of concern: Reference:
Allowed workplace exposures restricted to low doses European Union - Classification & Labelling
Allowed workplace exposures restricted to high doses RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2007

Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs)

Type of concern: Reference:
Classified as irritant European Union - Classification & Labelling


Type of concern: Reference:
One or more in vitro tests on mammalian cells show positive mutation results RTECS®- Mutation Research 1998

Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

Type of concern: Reference:
Limited evidence of respiratory toxicity California Air Resources Board
Limited evidence of cardiovascular or blood toxicity California Air Resources Board
One or more animal studies show classified as toxic effects at moderate doses (low dose studies may be unavailable for this ingredient) EPA Toxic Release Inventory PBTs
Classified as not expected to be potentially toxic or harmful Environment Canada Domestic Substance List


Type of concern: Reference:
Wildlife and environmental toxicity European Union - Classification & Labelling
Not suspected to be an environmental toxin Environment Canada Domestic Substance List


Type of concern: Reference:
nervous system - weight of evidence unknown/unassessed/unreview: published lit review or major tox study National Library of Medicine HazMap

Persistence and bioaccumulation

Type of concern: Reference:
Not suspected to be persistent Environment Canada Domestic Substance List
Not suspected to be bioaccumulative Environment Canada Domestic Substance List


Type of concern: Reference:
Occupational hazards related to handling European Union - Classification & Labelling

Government, industry, academic studies and classifications

government/industry list/academic study appears on list as classification(s)
European Union - Classification & Labelling1,2,4-TRIMETHYLBENZENE•Flammable
•Harmful by inhalation
•Irritant (eyes, skin, or lungs)
•Irritating to eyes, respiratory system and skin
•Dangerous for the environment
•Toxic to aquatic organisms
Environment Canada Domestic Substance ListBENZENE, 1,2,4-TRIMETHYL-•This chemical was NOT flagged by CEPA for further attention.
IFRA Fragrance Ingredient ListBENZENE, 1,2,4-TRIMETHYL-•The chemical has been reported as used in fragrance compounds by IFRA affiliated member companies in 2008.
National Library of Medicine HazMapTRIMETHYL BENZENE ISOMERS•Neurotoxin: CNS Solvent Syndrome;
•TLV (ACGIH) - Threshold limit value (ACGIH): 25 ppm, mixed isomers;
•Flammability (NFPA) - NFPA flammability code: 0 = will not burn; 1 = must be preheated; 2 = high ambient temp required; 3 = may ignite at ambient temp; 4 = burn readily: 2: high ambient temperature required;
•Odor Threshold High - The lowest concentration at which a substance can be detected or recognized using the sense of smell: 2.4 ppm;
•Odor Threshold Low - The lowest concentration at which a substance can be detected or recognized using the sense of smell: 0.006 ppm;
•MAK - Maximum Allowable Concentration (Federal Republic of Germany): 20 ppm, separate isomers;
EPA Toxic Release Inventory PBTs1,2,4TRIMETHYLBENZENE•Toxic, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Toxics Release Inventory programs
California Air Resources Board1,2,4-TRIMETHYLBENZENE•Respiratory toxicity hazards: suspected
California Air Resources Board1,2,4-TRIMETHYLBENZENE•Cardiovascular or blood toxicity hazards: suspected
RTECS®- TLV/BEI,20071,2,4-TRIMETHYLBENZENE• occupationally related - ACGIH TLV (human TWA)
RTECS®- Mutation Research 19981,2,4-TRIMETHYLBENZENE• mutagenic - Positive mutation assay: Sister Chromatid Exchange (mouse ipr)


government/industry list/academic study reference
European Union - Classification & LabellingCPS&Q (Consumer Products Safety & Quality) formely known as ECB (European Chemicals Bureau). 2008. Classification and Labelling: Chemicals: Annex VI of Directive 67/548/EEC through the 31st ATP.
Environment Canada Domestic Substance ListEC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.
IFRA Fragrance Ingredient ListIFRA (International Fragrance Assocication). 2010. IFRA Fragrance Ingredient List based on 2008 Use Survey. Accessed online 01/04/2010:
National Library of Medicine HazMapNLM (National Library of Medicine). 2006. HazMap — Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Agents.
EPA Toxic Release Inventory PBTsEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 1999. Toxics Release Inventory Program. PBT Chemical Rule. Toxicity InformationCalifornia Air Resources Board. Toxic Air Contaminant Fact Sheets. Toxicity InformationCalifornia Air Resources Board. Toxic Air Contaminant Fact Sheets.
RTECS®- Mutation Research 1998RTECS®- Mutation Research. (Elsevier Science Pub. B.V., POB 211, 1000 AE Amsterdam, Netherlands) V.1- 412,299,1998

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