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National Drinking Water Database

National Drinking Water Database - Chemical Contaminants

Aroclor 1242

Status: Regulated - EPA has established a maximum legal limit in tapwater for this contaminant.

Aroclor 1242 is a member of the polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) group of industrial chemicals used as dielectrics, coolants and lubricants in electrical equipment; PCBs contaminate water by leaching from landfills or other waste deposits. [read more]

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

Health Concerns for Aroclor 1242:

Aroclor 1242 Exposure by State

Water utilities in 3 states have reported detecting Aroclor 1242 in treated tap water since 2004, according to EWG's analysis of water quality data supplied by state water agencies.

StateWater Suppliers with Aroclor 1242 contaminationWater suppliers reporting Aroclor 1242 above health-based limits
New York112,000112,000

The Most Polluted Communities

3 water utilities reported detecting Aroclor 1242 in tap water since 2004, according to EWG's analysis of water quality data supplied by state water agencies

Ranked by highest average Aroclor 1242 level

RankSystem Population Served Positive test results of total reported tests Average Level
1Norfolk Water Department
6,1751 of 20.08 ppb
(0 to 0.15 ppb)
2Artesian Water Company
Newark, DE
201,0001 of 83< 0.01 ppb
(0 to 0.17 ppb)
3Waterford Water Works
Waterford, NY
12,0001 of 50< 0.01 ppb
(< .01 to 0.00538 ppb)

Health Based Limits for Aroclor 1242

Maximum Contaminant Limit Goal (MCLG)A non-enforceable health goal that is set at a level at which no known or anticipated adverse effect on the health of persons occurs and which allows an adequate margin of safety. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.0 ppb
Maximum Contaminant Limit (MCL)The enforceable standard which defines the highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to health-based limits (Maximum Contaminant Level Goals, or MCLGs) as feasible using the best available analytical and treatment technologies and taking cost into consideration. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.0.5 ppb

Testing Summary for Aroclor 1242

Are tests routinely required for Aroclor 1242 by federal law?Yes
Water suppliers reporting tests for Aroclor 1242 (2004-2009):6,591 of 47,576
Average testing rate for water supplier reporting tests (2004-2009):0.3 per year

Violation Summary for Aroclor 1242

Data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency includes the following violations of federal standards for Aroclor 1242 since 2004

Maximum Contaminant Level Exceedance Violations0
Monitoring Violations76
Reporting Violations0

Endocrine disruption

Type of concern: Reference:
Human disruptor - strong evidence European Commission on Endocrine Disruption

Occupational hazards

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


Type of concern: Reference:
One or more in vitro tests on mammalian cells show positive mutation results RTECS®- Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 1979

Government, industry, academic studies and classifications

government/industry list/academic study appears on list as classification(s)
European Commission on Endocrine DisruptionPCB AROCLOR 1242HH-CAT1;
RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2007POLYCHLORINATED BIPHENYL (AROCLOR 1242)• occupationally related - ACGIH TLV (human TWA)
RTECS®- Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 1979POLYCHLORINATED BIPHENYL (AROCLOR 1242)• mutagenic - Positive mutation assay: other mutation test systems (mouse oth)


government/industry list/academic study reference
European Commission on Endocrine DisruptionEU (European Union)- Strategy for Endocrine Disrupters 2007. Commision on endocrin disruption requested by the European Parliament in 1998.
RTECS®- Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 1979RTECS®- Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety. (Academic Press, Inc., 1 E. First St., Duluth, MN 55802) V.1- 3,10,1979

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