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National Drinking Water Database


National Drinking Water Database - Chemical Contaminants

Phosphorus


Status: Unregulated - EPA has not established a maximum legal limit in tapwater for this contaminant.

Phosphorus is a component of fertilizer and manure, and a common pollutant in municipal wastewater discharges.

 
Detected
Found above
health guidelines
Found above
legal limit
States
9
9
-
Water utilities
274
274
-
People Served
2,851,644
2,851,644
-

Health Concerns for Phosphorus:


Phosphorus Exposure by State

Water utilities in 9 states have reported detecting Phosphorus in treated tap water since 2004, according to EWG's analysis of water quality data supplied by state water agencies.

StateWater Suppliers with Phosphorus contaminationWater suppliers reporting Phosphorus above health-based limits
SystemsPopulationSystemsPopulation
Illinois2461,534,7082461,534,708
Ohio131,031,910131,031,910
Minnesota5151,7245151,724
New York5131,4335131,433
Idaho19971997
Iowa15001500
Alaska11991199
Nevada191191
Montana182182
Total2742,851,6442742,851,644

The Most Polluted Communities

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

Ranked by highest average Phosphorus level

RankSystem Population Served Positive test results of total reported tests Average Level
(Range)
1Mason City
Mason City, IL
2,5581 of 13200 ppb
(3200 ppb)
2Maynard Water Supply
Maynard, IA
5001 of 22550 ppb
(0 to 5100 ppb)
3Piper City
Piper City, IL
8751 of 12090 ppb
(2090 ppb)
4Boyd Community
New Hartford, NY
1264 of 41129.17 ppb
(370 to 1866.67 ppb)
5Ada
Ada, MN
1,6571 of 11083.33 ppb
(1083.33 ppb)
6Alhambra
Alhambra, IL
8001 of 1888 ppb
(888 ppb)
7Oreana
Oreana, IL
8921 of 1869 ppb
(869 ppb)
8City of Jackson
Jackson, OH
9,5901 of 1765 ppb
(765 ppb)
9Mount Pulaski
Mt. Pulaski, IL
1,8001 of 1721 ppb
(721 ppb)
10Farmersville
Farmersville, IL
8161 of 1721 ppb
(721 ppb)

Health Based Limits for Phosphorus

StandardDescriptionLevel
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.0.1 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.0.5 ppb

Testing Summary for Phosphorus

Are tests routinely required for Phosphorus by federal law?No
Water suppliers reporting tests for Phosphorus (2004-2009):345 of 47,576
Average testing rate for water supplier reporting tests (2004-2009):0.3 per year

Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

Type of concern: Reference:
Known human respiratory toxicant EPA Hazardous Air Pollutants
One or more animal studies show broad systemic effects at very low doses RTECS®- "Vrednie chemichescie veshestva 1993
One or more animal studies show blood effects at very low doses RTECS®- "Vrednie chemichescie veshestva 1989
One or more animal studies show metabolic effects at very low doses RTECS®- "Vrednie chemichescie veshestva 1989
One or more animal studies show cardiovascular effects at very low doses RTECS®- American Heart Journal 1972
One or more animal studies show respiratory effects at very low doses RTECS®- Archives of Internal Medicine 1949
One or more animal studies show gastrointestinal effects at very low doses RTECS®- Archives of Internal Medicine 1949
One or more animal studies show respiratory effects at very low doses RTECS®- National Technical Information Service
One or more animal studies show broad systemic effects at very low doses RTECS®- Handbook of pesticide toxicology 2001
One or more animal studies show broad systemic effects at low doses RTECS®- "Vrednie chemichescie veshestva 1993
One or more animal studies show liver effects at low doses RTECS®- "Vrednie chemichescie veshestva 1989
One or more animal studies show gastrointestinal effects at low doses RTECS®- American Journal of the Medical Sciences 1944
One or more animal studies show metabolic effects at low doses RTECS®- American Journal of the Medical Sciences 1944
One or more animal studies show gastrointestinal effects at low doses RTECS®- New England Journal of Medicine 1945
One or more animal studies show broad systemic effects at low doses RTECS®- "Pesticide Index," Frear, E 1969
One or more animal studies show broad systemic effects at low doses RTECS®- Handbook of pesticide toxicology 2001
One or more animal studies show liver effects at low doses RTECS®- Weisheng Dulixue Zazhi 1990
One or more animal studies show blood effects at low doses RTECS®- Weisheng Dulixue Zazhi 1990
One or more animal studies show broad systemic effects at moderate doses (low dose studies may be unavailable for this ingredient) RTECS®- "Pesticide Index," Frear, E 1969
One or more animal studies show musculoskeletal effects at moderate doses (low dose studies may be unavailable for this ingredient) RTECS®- Anatomical Record 1973
Classified as not expected to be potentially toxic or harmful Environment Canada Domestic Substance List

Endocrine disruption

Type of concern: Reference:
One or more studies show endocrine system disruption at very low doses RTECS®- Archiv fuer Experimentelle Pathologie und Pharmakologie 1911

Neurotoxicity

Type of concern: Reference:
One or more animal studies show brain, nervous system, or behavioral effect effects at very low doses RTECS®- "Vrednie chemichescie veshestva 1989
One or more animal studies show brain, nervous system, or behavioral effect effects at very low doses RTECS®- National Technical Information Service
One or more animal studies show brain, nervous system, or behavioral effect effects at very low doses RTECS®- Archiv fuer Experimentelle Pathologie und Pharmakologie 1911
One or more animal studies show brain, nervous system, or behavioral effect effects at very low doses RTECS®- Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association, Scientific Edition 1950
One or more animal studies show brain, nervous system, or behavioral effect effects at low doses RTECS®- New England Journal of Medicine 1945

Developmental/reproductive toxicity

Type of concern: Reference:
One or more animal studies show reproductive effects at very low doses RTECS®- Zdravookhranenie Kazakhstana 1976

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,2006
Allowed workplace exposures restricted to very low doses RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2007
Single case study detailing occupational hazards National Library of Medicine HazMap

Biochemical or cellular level changes

Type of concern: Reference:
One or more animal studies show biochemical changes at very low doses where the human health implications are not yet well understood RTECS®- "Vrednie chemichescie veshestva 1989
One or more animal studies show biochemical changes at low doses where the human health implications are not yet well understood RTECS®- Weisheng Dulixue Zazhi 1990

Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs)

Type of concern: Reference:
One or more animal studies show skin irritation at very low doses RTECS®- Archives of Internal Medicine 1949

Ecotoxicology

Type of concern: Reference:
Wildlife and environmental toxicity European Union - Classification & Labelling
Not suspected to be an environmental toxin Environment Canada Domestic Substance List

Cancer

Type of concern: Reference:
Cancer - not classifiable/not likely to be human carcinogen EPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)

Persistence and bioaccumulation

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

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 & LabellingRED PHOSPHORUS•Highly flammable
•Highly flammable
•Explosive when mixed with oxidizing substances
•Harmful to aquatic organisms
Canada - Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetics IngredientsPHOSPHORUS•Prohibited from use in Canadian cosmetics
Environment Canada Domestic Substance ListPHOSPHORUS•This chemical was NOT flagged by CEPA for further attention. The chemical was flagged for suspected persistence.
EPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)WHITE PHOSPHORUS•Group D: Not classifiable as to human carcinogenicity (EPA classification)
EPA Hazardous Air PollutantsPHOSPHORUS•Hazardous air pollutant under Clean Air Act
National Library of Medicine HazMapPHOSPHORUS (YELLOW)•Dermatotoxin: Skin Burns;
•Toxic Pneumonitis: Yes;
•Hepatotoxin: Hepatotoxin, Secondary;
•Nephrotoxin: Yes;
•PEL (OSHA) - Permissible exposure limit (OSHA): 0.1 mg/m3;
•TLV (ACGIH) - Threshold limit value (ACGIH): 0.1 mg/m3;
•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: 3: may ignite at ambient temperature;
•IDLH (NIOSH) - Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health: 5 mg/m3;
•MAK - Maximum Allowable Concentration (Federal Republic of Germany): 0.1 mg/m3, inhalable fraction;
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 2004PHOSPHORUS (YELLOW OR WHITE)•Respiratory toxicity hazards: suspected
DiPalma, J, 1107PHOSPHORUS (YELLOW OR WHITE)•Gastrointestinal or liver toxicity hazards: suspected
US EPA, Air Risk Information Support CenterPHOSPHORUS (YELLOW OR WHITE)•Musculoskeletal toxicity hazards: suspected
US EPA, Air Risk Information Support CenterPHOSPHORUS (YELLOW OR WHITE)•Kidney toxicity hazards: suspected
RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2005PHOSPHORUS• occupationally related - ACGIH TLV (human TWA)
RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2006PHOSPHORUS• occupationally related - ACGIH TLV (human TWA)
RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2007PHOSPHORUS• occupationally related - ACGIH TLV (human TWA)
RTECS®- "Pesticide Index," Frear, E 1969PHOSPHORUS• broad systemic - Broad systemic toxicity (pig LDLo)
RTECS®- "Vrednie chemichescie veshestva 1989PHOSPHORUS• liver - Hepatitis (hepatocellular necrosis), diffuse (rat TDLo)
• metabolic - Weight loss or decreased weight gain (rat TDLo)
• liver - Fatty liver degeneration (rat TDLo)
• liver - Hepatitis, fibrous (cirrhosis, post-necrotic scarring) (rat TDLo)
• biochemical - Multiple enzyme effects (rat TDLo)
• blood - Other changes (rat TDLo)
RTECS®- "Vrednie chemichescie veshestva 1993PHOSPHORUS• broad systemic - Broad systemic toxicity (mouse LD50)
RTECS®- "Vrednie chemichescie veshestva 1989PHOSPHORUS• biochemical - True cholinesterase (rat TDLo)
• brain, nervous system, or behavioral effect - Alteration of classical conditioning (rat TDLo)
• blood - Other changes (rat TDLo)
• biochemical - Other enzymes (rat TDLo)
RTECS®- American Heart Journal 1972PHOSPHORUS• cardiovascular - Cardiomyopathy, including infarction (woman LDLo)
RTECS®- American Journal of the Medical Sciences 1944PHOSPHORUS• metabolic - Body temperature increase (woman TDLo)
• gastrointestinal - Hypermotility, diarrhea (woman TDLo)
• gastrointestinal - Nausea or vomiting (woman TDLo)
RTECS®- Anatomical Record 1973PHOSPHORUS• musculoskeletal - Other changes (rat TDLo)
RTECS®- Archiv fuer Experimentelle Pathologie und Pharmakologie 1911PHOSPHORUS• endocrine system - Hypoglycemia (rabbit LDLo)
• brain, nervous system, or behavioral effect - Muscle weakness (rabbit LDLo)
RTECS®- Archives of Internal Medicine 1949PHOSPHORUS• respiratory - Cyanosis (woman LDLo)
• gastrointestinal - Nausea or vomiting (woman LDLo)
• skin - Sweating (woman LDLo)
RTECS®- Handbook of pesticide toxicology 2001PHOSPHORUS• broad systemic - Broad systemic toxicity (duck LD50)
RTECS®- Handbook of pesticide toxicology 2001PHOSPHORUS• broad systemic - Broad systemic toxicity (infant LDLo)
RTECS®- Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association, Scientific Edition 1950PHOSPHORUS• brain, nervous system, or behavioral effect - Convulsions or effect on seizure threshold (duck LDLo)
• brain, nervous system, or behavioral effect - Muscle weakness (duck LDLo)
• brain, nervous system, or behavioral effect - Somnolence (general depressed activity) (duck LDLo)
RTECS®- National Technical Information Service PHOSPHORUS• brain, nervous system, or behavioral effect - Food intake (animal) (rat LD50)
• respiratory - Other changes (rat LD50)
• brain, nervous system, or behavioral effect - Somnolence (general depressed activity) (rat LD50)
RTECS®- New England Journal of Medicine 1945PHOSPHORUS• brain, nervous system, or behavioral effect - Fluid intake (woman TDLo)
• gastrointestinal - Hypermotility, diarrhea (woman TDLo)
• gastrointestinal - Nausea or vomiting (woman TDLo)
RTECS®- Weisheng Dulixue Zazhi 1990PHOSPHORUS• biochemical - Dehydrogenases (rat TDLo)
• liver - Other changes (rat TDLo)
• biochemical - Other enzymes (rat TDLo)
RTECS®- Weisheng Dulixue Zazhi 1990PHOSPHORUS• liver - Hepatitis (hepatocellular necrosis), diffuse (rat TDLo)
• blood - Changes in serum composition (eg., TP, bilirubin, cholesterol) (rat TDLo)
• biochemical - Transaminases (rat TDLo)
RTECS®- Zdravookhranenie Kazakhstana 1976PHOSPHORUS• reproductive - Female fertility index (rat TDLo)
• reproductive - Litter size (rat TDLo)
• reproductive - Post-implantation mortality (rat TDLo)



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.
Canada - Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetics IngredientsHealth Canada. 2007. List of Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetic Ingredients. Canada's Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist. March 2007.
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.
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, 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 InformationDiPalma, J.A., J. Cunningham, J. Herrera, T. McCaffery, and D. Wolf. Occupational and Industrial Toxin Exposures and the Gastrointestinal Tract. American Journal of Gastroenterology. 86(9): 1107-1117. 1991. (Table 2: Selected Agents with Purported Digestive System Injury)., 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)., US EPA, Air Risk Information Support Center. Health Effects Notebook for Hazardous Air Pollutants. http://www.epa.gov/ttnatw01/hlthef/hapindex.html, LaDou, J. (ed.). Occupational Medicine. Appleton & Lange, Norwalk, CN. 1990., Malachowsky, M.J. Health Effects of Toxic Substances. Government Institutes. Rockville, MD 1995., 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, Air Risk Information Support Center. Health Effects Notebook for Hazardous Air Pollutants. http://www.epa.gov/ttnatw01/hlthef/hapindex.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
RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2005RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2005
RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2006RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2006
RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2007RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2007
RTECS®- "Pesticide Index," Frear, E 1969RTECS®- "Pesticide Index," Frear, E.H., ed., State College, PA, College Science Pub., 1969 4,321,1969
RTECS®- "Vrednie chemichescie veshestva 1989RTECS®- "Vrednie chemichescie veshestva. Neorganicheskie soedinenia elementov V-VII groopp" (Hazardous substances. Inornanic substances containing V-VII group elements), Bandman A.L. et al., Chimia, 1989. -,58,1989
RTECS®- "Vrednie chemichescie veshestva 1993RTECS®- "Vrednie chemichescie veshestva. Neorganicheskie soedinenia elementov V-VII groopp" (Hazardous substances. Inornanic substances containing V-VII group elements), Bandman A.L. et al., Chimia, 1989. -,58,1993
RTECS®- "Vrednie chemichescie veshestva 1989RTECS®- "Vrednie chemichescie veshestva. Neorganicheskie soedinenia elementov V-VII groopp" (Hazardous substances. Inornanic substances containing V-VII group elements), Bandman A.L. et al., Chimia, 1989. -,59,1989
RTECS®- American Heart Journal 1972RTECS®- American Heart Journal. (C.V. Mosby Co., 11830 Westline Industrial Dr., St. Louis, MO 63146) V.1- 1925- 84,139,1972
RTECS®- American Journal of the Medical Sciences 1944RTECS®- American Journal of the Medical Sciences. (Slack Inc., 6900 Grove Rd., Thorofare, NJ 08086) New series: V.1- 1841- 209,223,1944
RTECS®- Anatomical Record 1973RTECS®- Anatomical Record. (Alan R. Liss, Inc., 41 E. 11th St., New York, NY 10003) V.1- 1906/08- 177,15,1973
RTECS®- Archiv fuer Experimentelle Pathologie und Pharmakologie 1911RTECS®- Archiv fuer Experimentelle Pathologie und Pharmakologie. (Leipzig, Ger. Dem. Rep.) V.1-109, 1873-1925. For publisher information, see NSAPCC. 64,274,1911
RTECS®- Archives of Internal Medicine 1949RTECS®- Archives of Internal Medicine. (AMA, 535 N. Dearborn St., Chicago, IL 60610) V.1- 1908- 83,164,1949
RTECS®- Handbook of pesticide toxicology 2001RTECS®- Handbook of pesticide toxicology. Robert Krieger ed, Academic press, 2001 2,1400,2001
RTECS®- Handbook of pesticide toxicology 2001RTECS®- Handbook of pesticide toxicology. Robert Krieger ed, Academic press, 2001 2,1402,2001
RTECS®- Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association, Scientific Edition 1950RTECS®- Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association, Scientific Edition. (Washington, DC) V.29-49, 1940-60. For publisher information, see JPMSAE. 39,151,1950
RTECS®- National Technical Information Service RTECS®- National Technical Information Service. (Springfield, VA 22161) Formerly U.S. Clearinghouse for Scientific & Technical Information. AD-B011-150
RTECS®- New England Journal of Medicine 1945RTECS®- New England Journal of Medicine. (Massachusetts Medical Soc., 10 Shattuck St., Boston, MA 02115) V.198- 1928- 232,247,1945
RTECS®- Weisheng Dulixue Zazhi 1990RTECS®- Weisheng Dulixue Zazhi. Journal of Health Toxicology. (Weisheng Dulixue Zazhi Bianjibu, Dongdaqiao, Chaoyang Menwai, Beijing, Peop. Rep. China) V.1- 1987 4,206,1990
RTECS®- Weisheng Dulixue Zazhi 1990RTECS®- Weisheng Dulixue Zazhi. Journal of Health Toxicology. (Weisheng Dulixue Zazhi Bianjibu, Dongdaqiao, Chaoyang Menwai, Beijing, Peop. Rep. China) V.1- 1987 4,4,1990
RTECS®- Zdravookhranenie Kazakhstana 1976RTECS®- Zdravookhranenie Kazakhstana. Public Health of Kazakhstan. (V/O Mezhdunarodnaya Kniga, 113095 Moscow, USSR) V.1- 1941- 36(5),87,1976

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