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National Drinking Water Database


National Drinking Water Database - Chemical Contaminants

Asbestos


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

Asbestos is a mineral fiber introduced into water by the dissolution of asbestos-containing minerals and from decay of asbestos cement in water mains. [read more]

 
Detected
Found above
health guidelines
Found above
legal limit
States
20
5
5
Water utilities
103
5
5
People Served
1,512,800
35,873
35,873

Health Concerns for Asbestos:


Asbestos Exposure by State

Water utilities in 20 states have reported detecting Asbestos in treated tap water since 2004, according to EWG's analysis of water quality data supplied by state water agencies.

StateWater Suppliers with Asbestos contaminationWater suppliers reporting Asbestos above health-based limits
SystemsPopulationSystemsPopulation
Massachusetts10154,593133,600
Kentucky442,51011,650
New York14505,2281450
Ohio1374,0501120
California18454,060153
Idaho793,07500
New Jersey470,30100
Florida438,83500
New Mexico733,76100
Arizona225,25000
Connecticut55,48600
Oregon44,38900
Nebraska32,47000
Delaware12,30000
Washington12,24000
Utah12,00000
Vermont11,95000
Wisconsin117000
Alaska113000
Illinois2200
Total1031,512,800535,873

The Most Polluted Communities

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

Ranked by highest average Asbestos level

RankSystem Population Served Positive test results of total reported tests Average Level
(Range)
1Pendleton Co Water District #1 / North
Falmouth, KY
1,6501 of 119 MFL
(19 MFL)
2Braintree Water & Sewer Dept.
MA
33,6001 of 110 MFL
(10 MFL)
3Countyline Mobile Home Park, Llc
Pittsford, NY
4501 of 110 MFL
(10 MFL)
4Dedham Westwood Water Dist.
Westwood, MA
40,0001 of 17 MFL
(7 MFL)
5Millsboro Water Department
Millsboro, DE
2,3001 of 14.9 MFL
(4.9 MFL)
6Farmersville,village of
Farmersville, OH
9801 of 13.08 MFL
(3.08 MFL)
7DE Anza Moon Valley Water Company
Sonoma, CA
5001 of 12 MFL
(2 MFL)
8Green Acres Mutual Water
Morgan Hill, CA
5325 of 451.48 MFL
(0 to 8.7 MFL)
9Rowley Water Department
Rowley, MA
5,3931 of 11.45 MFL
(1.45 MFL)
10Florida Government U.A. Lehigh Plant
Lehigh Acres, FL
29,3621 of 41.38 MFL
(0 to 5.5 MFL)

Health Based Limits for Asbestos

StandardDescriptionLevel
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.7 MFL
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.7 MFL
California Public Health GoalsDefined by the State of California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) as the level of contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. For acutely toxic substances, levels are set at which scientific evidence indicates that no known or anticipated adverse effects on health will occur, plus an adequate margin-of safety. PHGs for carcinogens or other substances which can cause chronic disease shall be based solely on health effects without regard to cost impacts and shall be set at levels which OEHHA has determined do not pose any significant risk to health.7 MFL
EPA Human Health Water Quality CriteriaWater quality criteria set by the US EPA provide guidance for states and tribes authorized to establish water quality standards under the Clean Water Act (CWA) to protect human health. These are non-enforceable standards based upon exposure by both drinking water and the contribution of water contamination to other consumed foods. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.7 MFL
One in one million (10-6) Cancer RiskThe concentration of a chemical in drinking water corresponding to an excess estimated lifetime cancer risk of 1 in 1,000,000. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.7 MFL
One in ten thousand (10-4) Cancer RiskThe concentration of a chemical in drinking water corresponding to an excess estimated lifetime cancer risk of 1 in 10,000. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.700 MFL

Testing Summary for Asbestos

Are tests routinely required for Asbestos by federal law?Yes
Water suppliers reporting tests for Asbestos (2004-2009):3,204 of 47,576
Average testing rate for water supplier reporting tests (2004-2009):0.2 per year

Violation Summary for Asbestos

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

Maximum Contaminant Level Exceedance Violations4
Monitoring Violations71
Reporting Violations0

Cancer

Type of concern: Reference:
Known human carcinogen NTP Report on Carcinogens, 11th Edition
Known human carcinogen Int'l Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) - Carcinogens
Known human carcinogen Amer Conf of Gov't Industrial Hygienists - Carcinogens
Known human carcinogen EPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)
Possible human carcinogen California EPA Proposition 65
Possible human carcinogen National Library of Medicine HazMap
Cancer - strong evidence Proposition 65 List of Carcinogens
Limited evidence of carcinogenicity NIOSH Occupational Carcinogens
Cancer - limited evidence CHE Toxicant and Disease Database
One or more in vitro tests non-mammalian cells show positive mutation results RTECS®- Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine 1984

Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

Type of concern: Reference:
Known human respiratory toxicant EPA Hazardous Air Pollutants
Known human respiratory toxicant CHE Toxicant and Disease Database
Limited evidence of respiratory toxicity US EPA, Air Risk Information Support Center, 1996
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
Classified as a low human health priority Environment Canada Domestic Substance List

Persistence and bioaccumulation

Type of concern: Reference:
Persistent, bioaccumulative in wildlife and humans National Library of Medicine HazMap
Persistent, bioaccumulative in wildlife Canada PBTs - Accelerated Reduction/Elimination of Toxics (ARET)
Persistent, bioaccumulative in wildlife National Library of Medicine HazMap
Not suspected to be bioaccumulative Environment Canada Domestic Substance List

Allergies/immunotoxicity

Type of concern: Reference:
Limited evidence of immune system toxicity or allergies nternational Programme of Chemical Safety Environmental Health Criteria 180, 1996

Biochemical or cellular level changes

Type of concern: Reference:
Cancer - moderate evidence - immune system CHE Toxicant and Disease Database

Ecotoxicology

Type of concern: Reference:
Wildlife and environmental toxicity EPA Clean Water Act - Priority Pollutants
Not suspected to be an environmental toxin Environment Canada Domestic Substance List



Government, industry, academic studies and classifications

government/industry list/academic study appears on list as classification(s)
Amer Conf of Gov't Industrial Hygienists - CarcinogensASBESTOS•Confirmed human carcinogen (ACGIH classification A1)
EPA Clean Water Act - Priority PollutantsASBESTOS (FRIABLE)•Priority water pollutant under the Clean Water Act
EPA Hazardous Air PollutantsASBESTOS•Hazardous air pollutant under Clean Air Act
Int'l Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) - CarcinogensASBESTOS•IARC Group 1: carcinogenic to humans (International Agency for Research on Carcinogens)
National Library of Medicine HazMapASBESTOS•Restricted - Regulations that have banned or restricted the use of the agent: Since 1975 the use of asbestos in insulation materials has been banned in the U.S.A.;
•Lung Cancer - Cancer of the lung caused by occupational exposures-all of these agents are in the IARC Group 1 (known human carcinogens): Yes;
•Fibrogenic - Inducing tissue injury and fibrosis (scarring): Yes;
•Bioaccumulates: Yes;
•IARC Carcinogen - International Agency for Research on Cancer; classifies chemicals as established (1), probable (2a), or possible (2b) human carcinogens: Known Carcinogen;
•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: 0: will not burn;
Canada PBTs - Accelerated Reduction/Elimination of Toxics (ARET)ASBESTOS•Persistent toxicant under Canada's Accelerated Reduction/Elimination of Toxics program - targeted for elimination or reduction
EPA Toxic Release Inventory PBTsASBESTOS•Toxic, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Toxics Release Inventory programs
EPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)ASBESTOS•Group A: Human carcinogen according (EPA classification)
NIOSH Occupational CarcinogensASBESTOS•Potential occupational carcinogen according to NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health)
NTP Report on Carcinogens, 11th EditionASBESTOS•Known human carcinogen (National Toxicology Program classification)
California EPA Proposition 65ASBESTOS•Carcinogen: California Proposition 65
US EPA, Air Risk Information Support Center, 1996ASBESTOS (FRIABLE)•Respiratory toxicity hazards: suspected
nternational Programme of Chemical Safety Environmental Health Criteria 180, 1996ASBESTOS (FRIABLE)•Immunotoxicity hazards: suspected
Proposition 65 List of CarcinogensASBESTOS (FRIABLE)•Cancer hazards: recognized
Environment Canada Domestic Substance ListASBESTOS•This chemical was deemed a low human health priority and was NOT flagged by CEPA for further attention. The chemical was flagged for suspected persistence.
Association of Occupational and Environmental ClinicsASBESTOS• o
RTECS®- Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine 1984ASBESTOS• mutagenic - Positive mutation assay: Mutation in Micro-organism (Escherichia coli )



references

government/industry list/academic study reference
Amer Conf of Gov't Industrial Hygienists - CarcinogensACGIH (American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists) 2008. ACGIH cancer classification system. www.acgih.org.
EPA Clean Water Act - Priority Pollutants
EPA Hazardous Air PollutantsEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 2005. Office of Air. The 112(b)1 Hazardous Air Pollutants List (as modified). Last modified: 12 Dec 2005.
Int'l Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) - CarcinogensIARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer). 2008. Overall Evaluations of Carcinogenicity to Humans, as evaluated in IARC Monographs Volumes 1-99 (a total of 935 agents, mixtures and exposures).
National Library of Medicine HazMapNLM (National Library of Medicine). 2006. HazMap — Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Agents.
Canada PBTs - Accelerated Reduction/Elimination of Toxics (ARET)EC (Environment Canada). 1994. Accelerated Reduction/Elimination of Toxics (ARET). ARET substance list of persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic chemicals.
EPA Toxic Release Inventory PBTsEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 1999. Toxics Release Inventory Program. PBT Chemical Rule.
EPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 2008. Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS). Evidence for human carcinogenicity based on 1986-2005 guidelines.
NIOSH Occupational CarcinogensNIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health). 2006. NIOSH Carcinogens List (Potential occupational carcinogens). http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npotocca.html.
NTP Report on Carcinogens, 11th EditionNTP (National Toxicology Program). 2005. Report on Carcinogens, Eleventh Edition; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Toxicology Program.
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.
Scorecard.org Toxicity InformationUS EPA, Air Risk Information Support Center. Health Effects Notebook for Hazardous Air Pollutants. http://www.epa.gov/ttnatw01/hlthef/hapindex.html, A Relational Database of Hazardous Chemicals and Occupational Diseases. Browse Haz-Map by Adverse Effects http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/hazmapadv.html, Klaassen, C., M. Amdur and J. Doull (eds.). Casarett and Doull's Toxicology. The Basic Science of Poisons, 5th Ed. Pergamon Press, NY. 1996., LaDou, J. (ed.). Occupational Medicine. Appleton & Lange, Norwalk, CN. 1990., Lu, F.C. Basic Toxicology. 2nd Edition. 1991., National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances. See Environmental Defense's Suspect Hazard Identification documentation.
Scorecard.org Toxicity Informationnternational Programme of Chemical Safety Environmental Health Criteria 180. Principles and Methods for Assessing Direct Immunotoxicity Associated with Exposure to Chemicals. World Health Organization. Geneva, 1996. (Table 1: Examples of compounds that are immunotoxic for humans or rodents).
Scorecard.org Toxicity InformationProposition 65 List of Carcinogens (July 2004) can be obtained from http://www.oehha.ca.gov/prop65/prop65_list/Newlist.html.
Environment Canada Domestic Substance ListEC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.
Association of Occupational and Environmental ClinicsAOEC (Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics). 2009. AEOC exposures codes and asthmagen designation.
RTECS®- Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine 1984RTECS®- Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine. (Academic Press, Inc., 1 E. First St., Duluth, MN 55802) V.1- 177,343,1984

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