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National Drinking Water Database


National Drinking Water Database - Chemical Contaminants

Cyanide


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

Cyanide is a chemical used in mining and steel/metal, plastic, and pesticide manufacturing; it is applied to roads as road salts, and small quantities occur naturally in some plants. [read more]

 
Detected
Found above
health guidelines
Found above
legal limit
States
35
17
4
Water utilities
787
67
12
People Served
18,837,726
876,516
441,513

Health Concerns for Cyanide:


Cyanide Exposure by State

Water utilities in 35 states have reported detecting Cyanide in treated tap water since 2004, according to EWG's analysis of water quality data supplied by state water agencies.

StateWater Suppliers with Cyanide contaminationWater suppliers reporting Cyanide above health-based limits
SystemsPopulationSystemsPopulation
New York128718,6089473,916
New Hampshire15138,7281133,000
North Carolina20259,7685109,871
Florida2459,471,849241,673
California20815,107431,979
Arkansas2279,0821126,434
Illinois49192,331319,519
Washington18157,345118,790
Alaska816,10119,644
New Mexico267,686216,720
Kentucky22346,39013,250
Utah15601,0881733
Nebraska35752381
Wisconsin1790,3481225
Indiana471,124,3372220
Pennsylvania9193,570198
Ohio30321,701163
Massachusetts102,281,83500
Oregon11707,58900
Nevada4317,96400
Arizona6283,07400
Delaware5203,57500
Idaho7190,55600
New Jersey15126,84300
Connecticut599,49500
Maryland236,75200
North Dakota114,94000
Alabama28,10600
Maine57,59000
Vermont87,27200
West Virginia57,05200
Missouri16,10000
Texas43,38400
Virginia182500
Wyoming116000
Total78718,837,72667876,516

The Most Polluted Communities

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

Ranked by highest average Cyanide level

RankSystem Population Served Positive test results of total reported tests Average Level
(Range)
1Valle Grande Mobile Home Park
Albuquerque, NM
1371 of 1200 ppb
(200 ppb)
2Bethel Nursing & Rehab Center
Arpin, WI
2251 of 1200 ppb
(200 ppb)
3Orangewood Mobile Home Park
Deland, FL
1731 of 1190 ppb
(190 ppb)
4White Cliffs Mutual Domestic Water Users
Gallup, NM
2041 of 1180 ppb
(180 ppb)
5Rambo Riviera SD Waterworks
Rogers, AR
838 of 15165.47 ppb
(0 to 570 ppb)
6MT Sherman Water Association
Jasper, AR
7322 of 3160 ppb
(0 to 420 ppb)
7Benton Co Water
Avoca, AR
4,4207 of 11150.91 ppb
(0 to 420 ppb)
8Village of Verdel
Verdel, NE
561 of 1140 ppb
(140 ppb)
9Ludlow County Line System
PA
981 of 1140 ppb
(140 ppb)
10Town of Discovery Bay
Discovery Bay, CA
5,7451 of 3132.5 ppb
(0 to 397.5 ppb)

Health Based Limits for Cyanide

StandardDescriptionLevel
Drinking Water Equivalent LevelA lifetime exposure concentration protective of adverse, noncarcinogenic health effects, that assumes all of the exposure to a contaminant is from drinking water. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.80 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.140 ppb
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.150 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.200 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.200 ppb
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.200 ppb
Children's health-based limit for 10-day exposureConcentration of a chemical in drinking water that is not expected to cause any adverse, noncarcinogenic effects for up to ten days of exposure. The Ten-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.200 ppb
Lifetime health-based limit, non-cancer riskConcentration of a chemical in drinking water that is not expected to cause any adverse, noncarcinogenic health effects for a lifetime of exposure. The Lifetime health-based limit (or Health Advisory, HA) is based on exposure for a a 70-kg adult consuming 2 liters of water per day. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.200 ppb

Testing Summary for Cyanide

Are tests routinely required for Cyanide by federal law?Yes
Water suppliers reporting tests for Cyanide (2004-2009):19,995 of 47,576
Average testing rate for water supplier reporting tests (2004-2009):0.4 per year

Violation Summary for Cyanide

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

Maximum Contaminant Level Exceedance Violations2
Monitoring Violations957
Reporting Violations0

Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

Type of concern: Reference:
Known human cardiovascular toxicant CHE Toxicant and Disease Database
Classified as expected to be toxic or harmful Environment Canada Domestic Substance List
Limited evidence of cardiovascular or blood toxicity Benowitz, N, 1992
Limited evidence of kidney toxicity Merck & Co

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

Developmental/reproductive toxicity

Type of concern: Reference:
Limited evidence of developmental toxicity US EPA, 9204

Cancer

Type of concern: Reference:
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
Suspected to be an environmental toxin and be persistent or bioaccumulative Environment Canada Domestic Substance List
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)
EPA Clean Water Act - Priority PollutantsCYANIDE•Priority water pollutant under the Clean Water Act
Environment Canada Domestic Substance ListCYANIDE•This chemical was flagged for further attention by CEPA due to suspected aquatic toxicity and persistence.
EPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)CYANIDE, FREE•Group D: Not classifiable as to human carcinogenicity (EPA classification)
European Commission on Endocrine DisruptionCYANIDE
Canada PBTs - Accelerated Reduction/Elimination of Toxics (ARET)CYANIDE•Persistent toxicant under Canada's Accelerated Reduction/Elimination of Toxics program - targeted for elimination or reduction
Benowitz, N, 1992CYANIDE•Cardiovascular or blood toxicity hazards: suspected
US EPA, 9204CYANIDE•Developmental toxicity hazards: suspected
Merck & CoCYANIDE•Kidney toxicity hazards: suspected



references

government/industry list/academic study reference
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.
European Commission on Endocrine DisruptionEU (European Union)- Strategy for Endocrine Disrupters 2007. Commision on endocrin disruption requested by the European Parliament in 1998.
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.
Scorecard.org Toxicity InformationBenowitz, N.L. Cardiotoxicity in the Workplace. Occupational Medicine. 7(3): 465-477. 1992. (Table 1: Chemical Toxins and Cardiovascular Disease)., Stacey, N.H. Occupational Toxicology. Taylor & Francis. 1995.
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 InformationMerck & Co. The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy. TABLE 226-1. Common Nephrotoxic Agents http://www.merck.com/pubs/mmanual/tables/226tb1.htm

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