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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.

1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene is a gasoline hydrocarbon and industrial chemical used in building materials, furnishings and chemical manufacturing. [read more]

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

Health Concerns for 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene:

1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene Exposure by State

Water utilities in 21 states have reported detecting 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene in treated tap water since 2004, according to EWG's analysis of water quality data supplied by state water agencies.

StateWater Suppliers with 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene contamination
Rhode Island3145,133
New Jersey161,700
New Mexico156,000
New York1336,176
New Hampshire31,564
North Carolina81,553

The Most Polluted Communities

59 water utilities reported detecting 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene in tap water since 2004, according to EWG's analysis of water quality data supplied by state water agencies

Ranked by highest average 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene level

RankSystem Population Served Positive test results of total reported tests Average Level
1Freedom Sanitary District
Kaukauna, WI
1,0001 of 120 ppb
(20 ppb)
2Crum Elbow Apartments
Hyde Park, NY
1501 of 113.8 ppb
(13.8 ppb)
3Long Beach Water Department
Long Beach, WA
2,8651 of 1110.91 ppb
(0 to 120 ppb)
4Jericho Underhill Water
Underhill, VT
8253 of 76.3 ppb
(0 to 35.8 ppb)
5Cedar Hollow Mobile Home Park
Wappingers Falls, NY
2001 of 14.6 ppb
(4.6 ppb)
Stewartsville, MO
7321 of 23.2 ppb
(0 to 6.4 ppb)
7Flathead Co Water District NO 8
Whitefish, MT
3501 of 42.3 ppb
(0 to 9.2 ppb)
8Menards Midwest Mfg Admin Bldg
Eau Claire, WI
1002 of 22.2 ppb
(1 to 3.4 ppb)
9Spindrift Marina
Isleton, CA
1001 of 11.7 ppb
(1.7 ppb)
10Round Lake
Round Lake, MN
4242 of 41.69 ppb
(0 to 6.5 ppb)

Health Based Limits for 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene

Children's health-based limit for 1-day exposureConcentration of a chemical in drinking water that is not expected to cause any adverse, noncarcinogenic health effects for up to one day of exposure. The One-Day health-based limit (or Health Advisory, HA) is typically set to protect a 10-kg child consuming 1 liter of water per day. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.10000 ppb

Testing Summary for 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene

Are tests routinely required for 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene by federal law?No
Water suppliers reporting tests for 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene (2004-2009):20,722 of 47,576
Average testing rate for water supplier reporting tests (2004-2009):0.6 per year


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

Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs)

Type of concern: Reference:
Classified as irritant European Union - Classification & Labelling
One or more animal studies show skin irritation at low doses RTECS®- "Prehled Prumyslove Toxikologie; Organicke Latky," Marhold, J 1986

Occupational hazards

Type of concern: Reference:
Allowed workplace exposures restricted to high doses RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2007

Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

Type of concern: Reference:
One or more animal studies show sense organ effects at moderate doses (low dose studies may be unavailable for this ingredient) RTECS®- "Prehled Prumyslove Toxikologie; Organicke Latky," Marhold, J 1986
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 & LabellingMESITYLENE•Flammable
•Irritant (eyes, skin, or lungs)
•Irritating to respiratory system
•Dangerous for the environment
•Toxic to aquatic organisms
Environment Canada Domestic Substance ListBENZENE, 1,3,5-TRIMETHYL-•This chemical was NOT flagged by CEPA for further attention.
IFRA Fragrance Ingredient ListBENZENE, 1,3,5-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;
RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2007MESITYLENE• occupationally related - ACGIH TLV (human TWA)
RTECS®- "Prehled Prumyslove Toxikologie; Organicke Latky," Marhold, J 1986MESITYLENE• sense organ - Primary eye irritant (rabbit )
• skin - Primary skin irritant (rabbit )
RTECS®- Mutation Research 1998MESITYLENE• 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.
RTECS®- "Prehled Prumyslove Toxikologie; Organicke Latky," Marhold, J 1986RTECS®- "Prehled Prumyslove Toxikologie; Organicke Latky," Marhold, J., Prague, Czechoslovakia, Avicenum, 1986 -,34,1986
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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