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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.

Acetochlor is an herbicide used on cabbage, citrus, coffee and corn crops; it is a probable human carcinogen.

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

Health Concerns for Acetochlor:

Acetochlor Exposure by State

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

StateWater Suppliers with Acetochlor contaminationWater suppliers reporting Acetochlor above health-based limits
New Jersey1205,00000

The Most Polluted Communities

5 water utilities reported detecting Acetochlor in tap water since 2004, according to EWG's analysis of water quality data supplied by state water agencies

Ranked by highest average Acetochlor level

RankSystem Population Served Positive test results of total reported tests Average Level
1Graettinger Municipal Water Supply
Graettinge, IA
9337 of 70.99 ppb
(0.4 to 1.7 ppb)
2City of Holstein
Holstein, IA
1,4771 of 10.6 ppb
(0.6 ppb)
Evansville, IL
7405 of 250.33 ppb
(0 to 2 ppb)
4Cedar Rapids Water Department
Cedar Rapi, IA
124,4884 of 520.02 ppb
(0 to 0.4 ppb)
5Trenton Water Works
Trenton, NJ
205,0001 of 4< 0.01 ppb
(0 to 0.03 ppb)

Health Based Limits for Acetochlor

Health-Based Screening LevelA benchmark concentration of contaminants in water that may be of potential concern for human health, if exceeded. For noncarcinogens, the HBSL represents the contaminant concentration in drinking water that is not expected to cause any adverse effects over a lifetime of exposure. For carcinogens, the HBSL range represents the contaminant concentration in drinking water that corresponds to an excess estimated lifetime cancer risk of 1 chance in 1 million to 1 chance in 10 thousand. Source: U.S. Geological Survey.1 ppb-100 ppb

Testing Summary for Acetochlor

Are tests routinely required for Acetochlor by federal law?No
Water suppliers reporting tests for Acetochlor (2004-2009):2,047 of 47,576
Average testing rate for water supplier reporting tests (2004-2009):0.4 per year

Endocrine disruption

Type of concern: Reference:
Human disruptor - strong evidence European Commission on Endocrine Disruption
Limited evidence of endocrine disruption BKH/European Commission, 2000


Type of concern: Reference:
Cancer - strong evidence Proposition 65 List of Carcinogens
Possible human carcinogen California EPA Proposition 65
One or more in vitro tests on mammalian cells show positive mutation results RTECS®- Mutation Research 1997

Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

Type of concern: Reference:
Known human lung and skin toxicant European Union - Classification & Labelling
One or more animal studies show sense organ effects at moderate doses (low dose studies may be unavailable for this ingredient) RTECS®- National Technical Information Service 6766


Type of concern: Reference:
Limited evidence of immune system toxicity or allergies European Union - Classification & Labelling

Occupational hazards

Type of concern: Reference:
Allowed workplace exposures restricted to low doses European Union - Classification & Labelling

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 moderate doses RTECS®- National Technical Information Service 6766


Type of concern: Reference:
Wildlife and environmental toxicity European Union - Classification & Labelling

Government, industry, academic studies and classifications

government/industry list/academic study appears on list as classification(s)
European Union - Classification & Labelling2-CHLORO-N-(ETHOXYMETHYL)-N-(2-ETHYL-6-METHYLPHENYL)ACETAMIDE•Harmful
•Harmful by inhalation
•Irritant (eyes, skin, or lungs)
•Irritating to respiratory system and skin
•May cause sensitization by skin contact
•Dangerous for the environment
•Very toxic to aquatic organisms
Our Stolen Future Endocrine DisruptorsACETOCHLORThyroid (decrease of thyroid hormone levels; increase in TSH)
California EPA Proposition 65ACETOCHLOR•Carcinogen: California Proposition 65
BKH/European Commission, 2000ACETOCHLOR•Endocrine toxicity hazards: suspected
Proposition 65 List of CarcinogensACETOCHLOR•Cancer hazards: recognized
European Commission on Endocrine DisruptionACETOCHLORHH-CAT1;WF-CAT3
RTECS®- Mutation Research 19972-CHLORO-N-(ETHOXYMETHYL)-N-(2-ETHYL-6-METHYLPHENYL)ACETAMIDE• mutagenic - Positive mutation assay: Sister Chromatid Exchange ( human lym)
RTECS®- National Technical Information Service 67662-CHLORO-N-(ETHOXYMETHYL)-N-(2-ETHYL-6-METHYLPHENYL)ACETAMIDE• sense organ - Primary eye irritant (rabbit )
• skin - Primary skin irritant (rabbit )


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.
Our Stolen Future Endocrine DisruptorsColborn T, D Dumanoski, JP Myers. 2006. Widespread Pollutants with Endocrine-disrupting Effects. Updated from original listing in "Our Stolen Future" (1996).
California EPA Proposition 65California EPA (California Environmental Protection Agency). 9/2008. Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986. Chemicals known to the State to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity. Toxicity InformationBKH/European Commission. Towards the establishment of a priority list of substances for further evaluation of their role in endocrine disruption: - preparation of a candidate list of substances as a basis for priority setting. Final report-November 2000. Category 1 chemicals from Annex 1: Candidate list of 553 substances., World Wildlife Fund. Our Stolen Future. Widespread Pollutants with Endocrine-disrupting Effects. The WWF list is derived from references detailed at and was originally published in: Colborn, T., F.S. vom Saal, and A.M. Soto. Developmental Effects of Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals In Wildlife and Humans. Environmental Health Perspectives 101(5): 378-384. 1993. Toxicity InformationProposition 65 List of Carcinogens (July 2004) can be obtained from
European Commission on Endocrine DisruptionEU (European Union)- Strategy for Endocrine Disrupters 2007. Commision on endocrin disruption requested by the European Parliament in 1998.
RTECS®- Mutation Research 1997RTECS®- Mutation Research. (Elsevier Science Pub. B.V., POB 211, 1000 AE Amsterdam, Netherlands) V.1- 395,159,1997
RTECS®- National Technical Information Service 6766RTECS®- National Technical Information Service. (Springfield, VA 22161) Formerly U.S. Clearinghouse for Scientific & Technical Information. OTS0536766

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