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National Drinking Water Database


National Drinking Water Database - Chemical Contaminants

Ethylbenzene


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

Ethylbenzene is a pollutant from petroleum refineries and industrial chemical factories; it is also used to make plastics, and may be present as an impurity in some insecticides. [read more]

 
Detected
Found above
health guidelines
Found above
legal limit
States
40
-
-
Water utilities
1,050
-
-
People Served
12,564,394
-
-

Health Concerns for Ethylbenzene:


Ethylbenzene Exposure by State

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

StateWater Suppliers with Ethylbenzene contamination
SystemsPopulation
Texas1244,367,274
Arizona251,066,631
North Carolina1321,064,872
Florida51678,234
California29596,288
Minnesota77579,999
Nebraska10549,082
Washington11378,289
Illinois54359,067
Delaware21357,370
Rhode Island8355,750
New York35274,461
Massachusetts13226,809
Iowa62217,590
Wisconsin57159,914
Pennsylvania42159,240
New Jersey15154,761
Arkansas37152,957
Indiana7148,356
Missouri49115,256
Ohio16103,437
Alabama780,913
New Mexico974,014
Virginia4172,772
Oklahoma3353,293
New Hampshire1541,791
Michigan737,504
Maryland1235,987
Hawaii127,642
Alaska1421,716
Connecticut317,396
Oregon815,186
Kentucky46,466
Vermont56,264
Maine43,800
South Dakota21,781
Utah3770
Idaho3670
Montana3625
North Dakota1167
Total1,05012,564,394

The Most Polluted Communities

1,050 water utilities reported detecting Ethylbenzene in tap water since 2004, according to EWG's analysis of water quality data supplied by state water agencies

Ranked by highest average Ethylbenzene level

RankSystem Population Served Positive test results of total reported tests Average Level
(Range)
1Green Pines S/D
Knightdale, NC
1624 of 526 ppb
(0 to 51 ppb)
2City of Plaza
Plaza, ND
1671 of 215 ppb
(0 to 30 ppb)
3Nsbu - Kaktovik (Barter Is)
Barrow, AK
3037 of 814.97 ppb
(0 to 40.7 ppb)
4New Market Water Supply
New Market, IA
4585 of 513.3 ppb
(0.5 to 54 ppb)
5Joice Water Supply
Lake Mills, IA
2312 of 312.18 ppb
(0 to 35 ppb)
6Stewartsville
Stewartsville, MO
7321 of 210.72 ppb
(0 to 21.43 ppb)
7Eol Wsc
Axtell, TX
1,6321 of 110.2 ppb
(10.2 ppb)
8Nsbu - Nuiqsut
Barrow, AK
4337 of 79.72 ppb
(5.95 to 12.7 ppb)
9Starwood/Lakemount
Moneta, VA
1951 of 49.5 ppb
(0 to 38 ppb)
10Dover Water Department
Dover, DE
38,0002 of 88.9 ppb
(0 to 52.8 ppb)

Health Based Limits for Ethylbenzene

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
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.530 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.700 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.700 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.700 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.3000 ppb
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.3000 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.30000 ppb

Testing Summary for Ethylbenzene

Are tests routinely required for Ethylbenzene by federal law?Yes
Water suppliers reporting tests for Ethylbenzene (2004-2009):33,852 of 47,576
Average testing rate for water supplier reporting tests (2004-2009):0.6 per year

Violation Summary for Ethylbenzene

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

Maximum Contaminant Level Exceedance Violations3
Monitoring Violations4,323
Reporting Violations0

Cancer

Type of concern: Reference:
Possible human carcinogen California EPA Proposition 65
Cancer - strong evidence Proposition 65 List of Carcinogens
Limited evidence of carcinogenicity Int'l Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) - Carcinogens
Possible carcinogen Environment Canada Domestic Substance List
Limited evidence of carcinogenicity Amer Conf of Gov't Industrial Hygienists - Carcinogens
Cancer - not classifiable/not likely to be human carcinogen EPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)
One or more in vitro tests on mammalian cells show positive mutation results RTECS®- Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis 1988
One or more in vitro tests on mammalian cells show positive mutation results RTECS®- Mutation Research 1997
One or more in vitro tests on mammalian cells show positive mutation results RTECS®- Mutation Research 1983
One or more in vitro tests on mammalian cells show positive mutation results RTECS®- Mutation Research 2006

Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

Type of concern: Reference:
Known human respiratory toxicant EPA Hazardous Air Pollutants
Classified as a high human health priority Environment Canada Domestic Substance List
Classified as expected to be toxic or harmful Environment Canada Domestic Substance List
One or more animal studies show sense organ effects at very low doses RTECS®- American Journal of Ophthalmology 1946
Limited evidence of gastrointestinal or liver toxicity National Library of Medicine HazMap
Limited evidence of gastrointestinal or liver toxicity California EPA, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, 2003
Limited evidence of kidney toxicity California EPA, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, 2003
Limited evidence of sense organ toxicity US EPA, Air Risk Information Support Center
Limited evidence of respiratory toxicity US EPA, Air Risk Information Support Center
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 effects at moderate doses (low dose studies may be unavailable for this ingredient) EPA Categorized List of Inert Pesticide Ingredients

Endocrine disruption

Type of concern: Reference:
Limited evidence of endocrine disruption California EPA, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, 2003

Developmental/reproductive toxicity

Type of concern: Reference:
Limited evidence of developmental toxicity Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 2004
Limited evidence of reproductive toxicity US EPA, 9204

Occupational hazards

Type of concern: Reference:
Allowed workplace exposures restricted to low doses European Union - Classification & Labelling
Allowed workplace exposures restricted to high doses RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2007
Allowed workplace exposures restricted to high doses RTECS®- MSHA STANDARD-air: 3,104,1971
Allowed workplace exposures restricted to high doses RTECS®- OSHA PEL (Gen Indu): 29,1910 1994
Allowed workplace exposures restricted to high doses RTECS®- OSHA PEL (Construc): 29,1926 1994
Allowed workplace exposures restricted to high doses RTECS®- OSHA PEL (Shipyard): 29,1915 1993
Allowed workplace exposures restricted to high doses RTECS®- OSHA PEL (Fed Cont): 41,50-204 1994

Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs)

Type of concern: Reference:
Human skin irritant - moderate evidence National Library of Medicine HazMap
One or more animal studies show skin irritation at moderate doses RTECS®- American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal 1962

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

Persistence and bioaccumulation

Type of concern: Reference:
Not suspected to be bioaccumulative Environment Canada Domestic Substance List

Neurotoxicity

Type of concern: Reference:
nervous system - weight of evidence unknown/unassessed/unreview: published lit review or major tox study National Library of Medicine HazMap

Miscellaneous

Type of concern: Reference:
Occupational hazards related to handling European Union - Classification & Labelling



Government, industry, academic studies and classifications

government/industry list/academic study appears on list as classification(s)
European Union - Classification & LabellingETHYLBENZENE•Highly flammable
•Highly flammable
•Harmful
•Harmful by inhalation
Amer Conf of Gov't Industrial Hygienists - CarcinogensETHYL BENZENE•Confirmed animal carcinogen with unknown relevance to humans (ACGIH classification A3)
Association of Occupational and Environmental ClinicsETHYL BENZENE• S
EPA Clean Water Act - Priority PollutantsETHYLBENZENE•Priority water pollutant under the Clean Water Act
Environment Canada Domestic Substance ListBENZENE, ETHYL-•This chemical was deemed a high human health priority and was flagged by CEPA for further attention. The chemical is suspected to be carcinogenic and persistent.
EPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)ETHYLBENZENE•Group D: Not classifiable as to human carcinogenicity (EPA classification)
EPA Hazardous Air PollutantsETHYL BENZENE•Hazardous air pollutant under Clean Air Act
National Library of Medicine HazMapETHYL BENZENE•Dermatotoxin: Skin Burns;
•Hepatotoxin: Hepatotoxin, Secondary;
•Neurotoxin: CNS Solvent Syndrome;
•PEL (OSHA) - Permissible exposure limit (OSHA): 100 ppm;
•STEL (ACGIH) - Short-term exposure limits (ACGIH): 125 ppm;
•RD50 - Concentration producing a 50% decrease in respiratory rate in experimental animals following a 10-minute exposure: 1430 ppm;
•LC50 - Lethal concentration in 50% of animals tested: 8000 ppm;
•IARC Carcinogen - International Agency for Research on Cancer; classifies chemicals as established (1), probable (2a), or possible (2b) human carcinogens: Possible Carcinogen;
•TLV (ACGIH) - Threshold limit value (ACGIH): 100 ppm;
•BEI - Biological Exposure Indices (American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygiene, ACGIH): Mandelic acid in urine = 1.5 g/g creatinine; end of shift at end of workweek;screen for eth
Int'l Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) - CarcinogensETHYLBENZENE•IARC Group 2B: possible human carcinogen (International Agency for Research on Carcinogens)
EPA Categorized List of Inert Pesticide IngredientsETHYLBENZENE•Pesticide inerts: potentially toxic, testing priority, according to EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)
EPA Toxic Release Inventory PBTsETHYLBENZENE•Toxic, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Toxics Release Inventory programs
California EPA Proposition 65ETHYLBENZENE•Carcinogen: California Proposition 65
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 2004ETHYLBENZENE•Developmental toxicity hazards: suspected
US EPA, Air Risk Information Support CenterETHYLBENZENE•Skin or sense organ toxicity hazards: suspected
US EPA, Air Risk Information Support CenterETHYLBENZENE•Respiratory toxicity hazards: suspected
US EPA, 9204ETHYLBENZENE•Reproductive toxicity hazards: suspected
California EPA, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, 2003ETHYLBENZENE•Endocrine toxicity hazards: suspected
California EPA, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, 2003ETHYLBENZENE•Gastrointestinal or liver toxicity hazards: suspected
California EPA, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, 2003ETHYLBENZENE•Kidney toxicity hazards: suspected
Proposition 65 List of CarcinogensETHYLBENZENE•Cancer hazards: recognized
RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2007ETHYLBENZENE• occupationally related - ACGIH TLV (human TWA)
RTECS®- American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal 1962ETHYLBENZENE• skin - Primary skin irritant (rabbit )
RTECS®- American Journal of Ophthalmology 1946ETHYLBENZENE• sense organ - Primary eye irritant (rabbit )
RTECS®- Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis 1988ETHYLBENZENE• mutagenic - Positive mutation assay: Mutation in Mammalian Somatic Cells (mouse lym)
RTECS®- MSHA STANDARD-air: 3,104,1971ETHYLBENZENE• occupationally related - MSHA STANDARD-air (human TWA)
RTECS®- Mutation Research 1983ETHYLBENZENE• mutagenic - Positive mutation assay: Sister Chromatid Exchange ( human lym)
RTECS®- Mutation Research 1997ETHYLBENZENE• mutagenic - Positive mutation assay: Micronucleus test (hamster emb)
RTECS®- Mutation Research 2006ETHYLBENZENE• mutagenic - Positive mutation assay: (mouse ipr)
RTECS®- OSHA PEL (Construc): 29,1926 1994ETHYLBENZENE• occupationally related - OSHA PEL (Construc) (human TWA)
RTECS®- OSHA PEL (Fed Cont): 41,50-204 1994ETHYLBENZENE• occupationally related - OSHA PEL (Fed Cont) (human TWA)
RTECS®- OSHA PEL (Gen Indu): 29,1910 1994ETHYLBENZENE• occupationally related - OSHA PEL (Gen Indu) (human TWA)
RTECS®- OSHA PEL (Shipyard): 29,1915 1993ETHYLBENZENE• occupationally related - OSHA PEL (Shipyard) (human TWA)



references

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.
Amer Conf of Gov't Industrial Hygienists - CarcinogensACGIH (American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists) 2008. ACGIH cancer classification system. www.acgih.org.
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.
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.
National Library of Medicine HazMapNLM (National Library of Medicine). 2006. HazMap — Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Agents.
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).
EPA Categorized List of Inert Pesticide IngredientsEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 1987 & 2005. Office of Pesticide Programs. Inert (other) Pesticide Ingredients in Pesticide Products - Categorized List of Inert (other) Pesticide Ingredients.
EPA Toxic Release Inventory PBTsEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 1999. Toxics Release Inventory Program. PBT Chemical Rule.
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 InformationAgency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Minimal risk Levels for Hazardous Substances. January 2004. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/mrls.html, US 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., 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 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, 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 InformationUS EPA, Air Risk Information Support Center. Health Effects Notebook for Hazardous Air Pollutants. http://www.epa.gov/ttnatw01/hlthef/hapindex.html, 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 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 InformationCalifornia 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 InformationCalifornia 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., 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 InformationCalifornia 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., 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 InformationProposition 65 List of Carcinogens (July 2004) can be obtained from http://www.oehha.ca.gov/prop65/prop65_list/Newlist.html.
RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2007RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2007
RTECS®- American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal 1962RTECS®- American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal. (AIHA, 475 Wolf Ledges Pkwy., Akron, OH 44311) V.19- 23,95,1962
RTECS®- American Journal of Ophthalmology 1946RTECS®- American Journal of Ophthalmology. (Ophthalmic Pub. Co., 435 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1415, Chicago, IL 60611) Series 3: V.1- 29,1363,1946
RTECS®- Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis 1988RTECS®- Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis. (Alan R. Liss, Inc., 41 E. 11th St., New York, NY 10003) V.10- 12,85,1988
RTECS®- MSHA STANDARD-air: 3,104,1971RTECS®- MSHA STANDARD-air: 3,104,1971
RTECS®- Mutation Research 1983RTECS®- Mutation Research. (Elsevier Science Pub. B.V., POB 211, 1000 AE Amsterdam, Netherlands) V.1- 116,379,1983
RTECS®- Mutation Research 1997RTECS®- Mutation Research. (Elsevier Science Pub. B.V., POB 211, 1000 AE Amsterdam, Netherlands) V.1- 392,61,1997
RTECS®- Mutation Research 2006RTECS®- Mutation Research. (Elsevier Science Pub. B.V., POB 211, 1000 AE Amsterdam, Netherlands) V.1- 608,29,2006
RTECS®- OSHA PEL (Construc): 29,1926 1994RTECS®- OSHA PEL (Construc): 29,1926.55,1994
RTECS®- OSHA PEL (Fed Cont): 41,50-204 1994RTECS®- OSHA PEL (Fed Cont): 41,50-204.50,1994
RTECS®- OSHA PEL (Gen Indu): 29,1910 1994RTECS®- OSHA PEL (Gen Indu): 29,1910.1000,1994
RTECS®- OSHA PEL (Shipyard): 29,1915 1993RTECS®- OSHA PEL (Shipyard): 29,1915.1000,1993

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