The Power of Information

National Drinking Water Database


National Drinking Water Database - Chemical Contaminants

Copper


Status: For this chemical EPA has established a non-enforceable guideline called a "secondary standard," regulating it for aesthetic or cosmetic concerns (taste, odor, tooth discoloration, etc.)

Copper is a naturally occuring metal and drinking water contaminant that enters tap water by corrosion of household plumbing systems and erosion of natural deposits. [read more]

 
Detected
Found above
health guidelines
Found above
legal limit
States
40
36
32
Water utilities
20,241
4,100
851
People Served
126,923,867
23,018,057
3,329,879

Health Concerns for Copper:


Copper Exposure by State

Water utilities in 40 states have reported detecting Copper in treated tap water since 2004, according to EWG's analysis of water quality data supplied by state water agencies.

StateWater Suppliers with Copper contaminationWater suppliers reporting Copper above health-based limits
SystemsPopulationSystemsPopulation
Illinois1,44911,679,6594975,968,806
New Jersey5928,175,9221573,125,469
Washington1,5713,922,9604652,169,030
Maryland401,739,03161,611,950
Wisconsin1,7203,247,0514891,439,357
North Carolina1,6526,976,4955091,396,771
Arizona4842,992,649451,275,112
Iowa1,0672,596,585359710,144
California56232,515,93824661,318
Nebraska5801,407,511221592,511
Virginia7951,972,661199543,412
Connecticut5782,692,691165527,938
Arkansas5572,387,484118514,264
Kentucky3754,734,45052501,733
Delaware46513,12312321,718
Oklahoma5962,939,348105311,623
Massachusetts27695,29115272,538
New Mexico4281,416,96941175,029
New York27410,240,35259160,516
Montana602514,334121152,801
Michigan170599,80243149,962
North Dakota321555,205152108,460
Missouri1,4853,312,36666103,323
Vermont360315,5089298,165
Alabama871,231,907439,486
Ohio551,933,416435,003
Texas2,80410,649,7011126,847
Maine362614,878199,361
Alaska53263,65584,941
Rhode Island3632,312164,820
South Carolina20375,95762,149
New Hampshire325221,771141,481
Indiana1834,87021,202
Idaho1210,4482461
Hawaii6206,3401281
Nevada962,024,322175
Utah32762,66200
Florida1416,30300
Oregon21,45000
Wyoming149000
Total20,241126,923,8674,10023,018,057

The Most Polluted Communities

20,241 water utilities reported detecting Copper in tap water since 2004, according to EWG's analysis of water quality data supplied by state water agencies

Ranked by highest average Copper level

RankSystem Population Served Positive test results of total reported tests Average Level
(Range)
1Campbell County East System
VA
801 of 17000 ppb
(7000 ppb)
2Beacon Hill-Lcsa
Leesburg, VA
2981 of 17000 ppb
(7000 ppb)
3Hillcrest Subdivision
Bedford, VA
1301 of 16900 ppb
(6900 ppb)
4Keswick Estates
Keswick, VA
1201 of 16000 ppb
(6000 ppb)
5Holland Subdivision
Smithfield, VA
4241 of 16000 ppb
(6000 ppb)
6Little Creek Amphibious Base - U.S. Navy
Norfolk, VA
9,7821 of 15000 ppb
(5000 ppb)
7Fort Eustis
Fort Eustis, VA
16,9003 of 35000 ppb
(5000 ppb)
8Western Technical College-Sparta
Sparta, WI
1091 of 14645 ppb
(4645 ppb)
9Appalachia #1/Wise Co Psa
Coeburn, VA
3503 of 43675 ppb
(0 to 7000 ppb)
10Western Virginia Water Authority
VA
155,0003 of 33666.67 ppb
(3000 to 4000 ppb)

Health Based Limits for Copper

StandardDescriptionLevel
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.300 ppb
National Secondary Drinking Water RegulationsA National Secondary Drinking Water Regulation is a non-enforceable guideline regarding contaminants that may cause cosmetic effects (such as taste, odor, or color). Some states choose to adopt them as enforceable standards. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1000 ppb
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.1300 ppb
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.1300 ppb

Testing Summary for Copper

Are tests routinely required for Copper by federal law?Yes
Water suppliers reporting tests for Copper (2004-2009):25,531 of 47,576
Average testing rate for water supplier reporting tests (2004-2009):0.7 per year

Violation Summary for Copper

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

Maximum Contaminant Level Exceedance Violations1
Monitoring Violations81
Reporting Violations2

Developmental/reproductive toxicity

Type of concern: Reference:
One or more animal studies show reproductive effects at very low doses RTECS®- Gigiena i Sanitariya 1980
One or more animal studies show reproductive effects at very low doses RTECS®- Gigiena i Sanitariya 1977
One or more animal studies show reproductive effects at very low doses RTECS®- Indian Journal of Experimental Biology 1981
One or more animal studies show reproductive effects at moderate doses RTECS®- Gigiena i Sanitariya 1980

Occupational hazards

Type of concern: Reference:
Allowed workplace exposures restricted to very low doses RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2005
Allowed workplace exposures restricted to very low doses RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2007
Allowed workplace exposures restricted to low doses RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2005
Allowed workplace exposures restricted to low doses RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2007
Single case study detailing occupational hazards US EPA, 9204

Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

Type of concern: Reference:
One or more animal studies show gastrointestinal effects at very low doses RTECS®- Public Health Reports 1958
One or more animal studies show broad systemic effects at very low doses RTECS®- "Vrednie chemichescie veshestva 1998
One or more animal studies show gastrointestinal effects at very low doses RTECS®- Toxicologist 2003
Classified as expected to be toxic or harmful Environment Canada Domestic Substance List
Classified as medium human health priority Environment Canada Domestic Substance List
One or more animal studies show respiratory effects at low doses RTECS®- Cancer Letters (Shannon, Ireland) 2000
Limited evidence of gastrointestinal or liver toxicity Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 2004
Limited evidence of respiratory toxicity Nemery, B, 1990
Limited evidence of kidney toxicity Merck & Co
Limited evidence of respiratory toxicity California EPA, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, 2000
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
One or more animal studies show liver effects at moderate doses (low dose studies may be unavailable for this ingredient) RTECS®- American Journal of Pathology 1925
One or more animal studies show kidney or renal system effects at moderate doses (low dose studies may be unavailable for this ingredient) RTECS®- American Journal of Pathology 1925
One or more animal studies show respiratory effects at moderate doses (low dose studies may be unavailable for this ingredient) RTECS®- American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal 1980
One or more animal studies show cardiovascular effects at high doses (low dose studies may be unavailable for this ingredient) RTECS®- American Journal of Pathology 1925
One or more animal studies show liver effects at high doses (low dose studies may be unavailable for this ingredient) RTECS®- American Journal of Pathology 1925

Persistence and bioaccumulation

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

Cancer

Type of concern: Reference:
One or more in vitro tests non-mammalian cells show positive mutation results RTECS®- American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal 1980
Cancer - not classifiable/not likely to be human carcinogen EPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)

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

Multiple, additive exposure sources

Type of concern: Reference:
Designated as safe for general or specific, limited use in food FDA Food Additive Status

Enhanced skin absorption

Type of concern: Reference:
Suspected nano-scale ingredients with potential to absorb into the skin Nanomaterial Database



Government, industry, academic studies and classifications

government/industry list/academic study appears on list as classification(s)
FDA Food Additive StatusCOPPER• PEST
• Food additive: food additive for which a petition has been filed and a regulation issued
• Tolerances for residues - 40 Code of Federal Regulations 180.538
• exemption from the requirement of a tolerance-40 Code of Federal Regulations 180.1021
FDA Food Additive StatusCOPPER• Food additive: nutrient
• GRAS (generally recognized as safe) - use in food presumed safe based either on a history of use before 1958 or on published scientific evidence; need not be approved by the FDA prior to use in food; most have not limit for use but must conform to good manufacturing practices; some GRAS substances have quantitative limit for use in foods; by definition under Sec 201(s) of FD&C Act, not food additives
• As nutritional dietary supplement in animal feed
• PEST
• Food additive: food additive for which a petition has been filed and a regulation issued
• Tolerances for Residues - 40 Code of Federal Regulations 180.136
Association of Occupational and Environmental ClinicsCOPPER• o
EPA Clean Water Act - Priority PollutantsCOPPER•Priority water pollutant under the Clean Water Act
Environment Canada Domestic Substance ListCOPPER•This chemical was deemed a moderate human health priority and was flagged by CEPA for further attention. The chemical was flagged for suspected persistence.
EPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)COPPER•Group D: Not classifiable as to human carcinogenicity (EPA classification)
National Library of Medicine HazMapCOPPER•Hepatotoxin: Hepatotoxin, Secondary;
•Methemoglobinemia: Methemoglobinemia, Secondary;
•PEL (OSHA) - Permissible exposure limit (OSHA): 0.1 mg/m3, as Cu(fume),1 mg/m3, as Cu(dust,mist);
•STEL (ACGIH) - Short-term exposure limits (ACGIH): 0.1 mg/m3., as Cu(fume);
•TLV (ACGIH) - Threshold limit value (ACGIH): 0.2 mg/m3, as Cu(fume), 1 mg/m3, as Cu(dust,mist);
•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;ID: 100 mg/m3, as Cu(fume,dust,
Nanomaterial DatabaseCOPPER•potential nano-scale ingredient
Nanomaterial DatabaseCOPPER•potential nano-scale ingredient
Canada PBTs - Accelerated Reduction/Elimination of Toxics (ARET)COPPER COMPOUNDS•Persistent toxicant under Canada's Accelerated Reduction/Elimination of Toxics program - targeted for elimination or reduction
EPA Toxic Release Inventory PBTsCOPPER•Toxic, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Toxics Release Inventory programs
EPA Toxic Release Inventory PBTsCOPPER COMPOUNDS -- TRI•Toxic, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Toxics Release Inventory programs
EPA Toxic Release Inventory PBTsCOPPER COMPOUNDS•Toxic, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Toxics Release Inventory programs
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 2004COPPER•Gastrointestinal or liver toxicity hazards: suspected
US EPA, 9204COPPER•Developmental toxicity hazards: suspected
US EPA, 9204COPPER•Reproductive toxicity hazards: suspected
A Relational Database of Hazardous Chemicals and Occupational Diseases, 1996COPPER•Cardiovascular or blood toxicity hazards: suspected
Nemery, B, 1990COPPER•Respiratory toxicity hazards: suspected
Merck & CoCOPPER COMPOUNDS•Kidney toxicity hazards: suspected
California EPA, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, 2000COPPER COMPOUNDS•Respiratory toxicity hazards: suspected
RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2005COPPER• occupationally related - ACGIH TLV (human TWA)
RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2007COPPER• occupationally related - ACGIH TLV (human TWA)
RTECS®- "Vrednie chemichescie veshestva 1998COPPER• broad systemic - Broad systemic toxicity (mouse LD50)
RTECS®- American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal 1980COPPER• respiratory - Fibrosis, focal (pneumoconiosis) (rat TDLo)
• mutagenic - respiratory tumor formations - equivocal (rat TDLo)
RTECS®- American Journal of Pathology 1925COPPER• liver - Hepatitis (hepatocellular necrosis), zonal (rabbit LDLo)
• liver - Other changes (rabbit TDLo)
RTECS®- Cancer Letters (Shannon, Ireland) 2000COPPER• respiratory - Other changes (mouse TDLo)
RTECS®- Gigiena i Sanitariya 1977COPPER• reproductive - Post-implantation mortality (rat TDLo)
• reproductive - Pre-implantation mortality (rat TDLo)
RTECS®- Gigiena i Sanitariya 1980COPPER• reproductive - Fetotoxicity (rat TDLo)
• reproductive - Musculoskeletal system (rat TDLo)
RTECS®- Indian Journal of Experimental Biology 1981COPPER• reproductive - Female fertility index (rat TDLo)
• reproductive - Uterus, cervix, vagina (rat TDLo)
RTECS®- Public Health Reports 1958COPPER• gastrointestinal - Nausea or vomiting ( human TDLo)
RTECS®- Toxicologist 2003COPPER• gastrointestinal - Hypermotility, diarrhea ( human TDLo)
• gastrointestinal - Nausea or vomiting ( human TDLo)



references

government/industry list/academic study reference
FDA Food Additive StatusFDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) 2006. Food Additive Status List. Downloaded from http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/%7Edms/opa-appa.html, Oct 16, 2006.
Association of Occupational and Environmental ClinicsAOEC (Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics). 2009. AEOC exposures codes and asthmagen designation.
EPA Clean Water Act - Priority Pollutants
Environment Canada Domestic Substance ListEC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.
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.
National Library of Medicine HazMapNLM (National Library of Medicine). 2006. HazMap — Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Agents.
Nanomaterial DatabaseNanoWerk. 2007. Nanomaterial Database. Available online: http://www.nanowerk.com/phpscripts/n_dbsearch.php
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.
Scorecard.org Toxicity InformationAgency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Minimal risk Levels for Hazardous Substances. January 2004. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/mrls.html, Dossing, M. and P. Skinhoj. Occupational Liver Injury. Present State of Knowledge and Future Perspectives. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health. 56:1-21. 1985. (Table 2: Chemically induced liver injury: morphologic features and examples of confirmed and suspected causative agents)., Klaassen, C., M. Amdur and J. Doull (eds.). Casarett and Doull's Toxicology. The Basic Science of Poisons, 5th Ed. Pergamon Press, NY. 1996., National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances. See Environmental Defense's Suspect Hazard Identification documentation., Zimmerman, H.J. and J.H. Lewis. Chemical- and Toxin-Induced Hepatotoxicity. Gastroenterology Clinics of North America. 24(4): 1027-1045. 1995. (Table 3: Forms of environmental hepatic injury).
Scorecard.org Toxicity InformationUS EPA. Roadmaps to Sources of Information on Chemicals Listed in the Emergency Planning Community and Community Right-to-Know Act (Also Known as SARA Title 3), Section 313 Toxic Release Inventory (for Microcomputers). (Report Number EPADFDK92040). 1991. Data file distributed in 2 diskettes by Office of Pollution, Prevention, and Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC. NOTE: Datasource no longer being maintained by EPA; not currently available online.
Scorecard.org Toxicity InformationUS EPA. Roadmaps to Sources of Information on Chemicals Listed in the Emergency Planning Community and Community Right-to-Know Act (Also Known as SARA Title 3), Section 313 Toxic Release Inventory (for Microcomputers). (Report Number EPADFDK92040). 1991. Data file distributed in 2 diskettes by Office of Pollution, Prevention, and Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC. NOTE: Datasource no longer being maintained by EPA; not currently available online., Frazier , L. and M. L. Hage (eds.). Reproductive Hazards of the Workplace, Wiley Europe, 1998. Table 10 (Partial List of Reproductive Toxicants) available at http://www.pharmacy.ohio-state.edu/homepage/safety/chemhygiene_table_repro.pdf.
Scorecard.org Toxicity InformationA 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.
Scorecard.org Toxicity InformationNemery, B. Metal Toxicity and the Respiratory Tract. European Respiratory Journal. 3(2): 202-219. 1990.(Table 1: Summary of pulmonary toxicity of metals)., California EPA, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. Acute Reference Exposure Levels (RELs), Averaging Times, and Toxicologic Endpoints. Includes all Acute Reference Exposure Levels (ARELs) developed by OEHHA through May 2000http://www.oehha.org/air/acute_rels/allAcRELs.html, California EPA, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. Air Toxics Hot Spots Program Risk Assessment Guidelines, Part III: Technical Support Document 'Determination of Noncancer Chronic Reference Exposure Levels'. Includes all Chronic Reference Exposure Levels (CRELs) adopted by OEHHA as of August 2003 (http://www.oehha.ca.gov/air/chronic_rels/AllChrels.html, plus draft CRELS proposed through March 2004 (http://www.oehha.ca.gov/air/chronic_rels/index.html.
Scorecard.org Toxicity InformationMerck & Co. The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy. TABLE 226-1. Common Nephrotoxic Agents http://www.merck.com/pubs/mmanual/tables/226tb1.htm
Scorecard.org Toxicity InformationCalifornia EPA, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. Acute Reference Exposure Levels (RELs), Averaging Times, and Toxicologic Endpoints. Includes all Acute Reference Exposure Levels (ARELs) developed by OEHHA through May 2000http://www.oehha.org/air/acute_rels/allAcRELs.html, California EPA, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. Air Toxics Hot Spots Program Risk Assessment Guidelines, Part III: Technical Support Document
RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2005RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2005
RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2007RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2007
RTECS®- "Vrednie chemichescie veshestva 1998RTECS®- "Vrednie chemichescie veshestva. Neorganicheskie soedinenia elementov I-IV groopp" (Hazardous substances. Inornanic substances containing I-IV group elements), Filov V.A., Chimia, 1988. -,67,1998
RTECS®- American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal 1980RTECS®- American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal. (AIHA, 475 Wolf Ledges Pkwy., Akron, OH 44311) V.19- 1958- 41,836,1980
RTECS®- American Journal of Pathology 1925RTECS®- American Journal of Pathology. (Lippincott/Harper, Journal Fulfillment Dept., 2350 Virginia Ave., Hagerstown, MD 21740) V.1- 1925- 1,117,1925
RTECS®- Cancer Letters (Shannon, Ireland) 2000RTECS®- Cancer Letters (Shannon, Ireland). (Elsevier Scientific Pub. Ireland Ltd., POB 85, Limerick, Ireland) V.1- 1975- 159,57,2000
RTECS®- Gigiena i Sanitariya 1977RTECS®- Gigiena i Sanitariya. For English translation, see HYSAAV. (V/O Mezhdunarodnaya Kniga, 113095 Moscow, USSR) V.1- 1936- 42(8),30,1977
RTECS®- Gigiena i Sanitariya 1980RTECS®- Gigiena i Sanitariya. For English translation, see HYSAAV. (V/O Mezhdunarodnaya Kniga, 113095 Moscow, USSR) V.1- 1936- 45(3),8,1980
RTECS®- Indian Journal of Experimental Biology 1981RTECS®- Indian Journal of Experimental Biology. (Publications & Information Directorate, CSIR, Hillside Rd., New Delhi 110 012, India) V.1- 1963- 19,1124,1981
RTECS®- Public Health Reports 1958RTECS®- Public Health Reports. (U.S. Government Printing Office, Supt. of Documents, Washington, DC 20402) V.1- 1878- 73,910,1958
RTECS®- Toxicologist 2003RTECS®- Toxicologist. (Soc. of Toxicology, Inc., 475 Wolf Ledge Parkway, Akron, OH 44311) V.1- -1981 72,29,2003

"RTECS®" is a United States trademark owned and licensed under authority of the U.S. Government, by and through MDL Information Systems, Inc.