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National Drinking Water Database


National Drinking Water Database - Chemical Contaminants

Selenium (total)


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

Selenium is a naturally occurring element that contaminates water due to mining or petrolum refining, fly-ash from coal-burning power plants, and irrigation of arid farmland soils high in selenium. [read more]

 
Detected
Found above
health guidelines
Found above
legal limit
States
41
10
10
Water utilities
3,935
34
34
People Served
55,285,489
150,899
150,899

Health Concerns for Selenium (total):


Selenium (total) Exposure by State

Water utilities in 41 states have reported detecting Selenium (total) in treated tap water since 2004, according to EWG's analysis of water quality data supplied by state water agencies.

StateWater Suppliers with Selenium (total) contaminationWater suppliers reporting Selenium (total) above health-based limits
SystemsPopulationSystemsPopulation
California44316,039,3981086,010
Oklahoma39280,115343,748
Nebraska2151,119,451810,657
North Carolina29207,91013,832
Florida4988,660,08922,270
Utah2342,178,07612,200
Texas6394,596,95651,172
New Mexico133500,8692610
New York1271,000,9771350
Illinois4003,359,381150
Ohio1053,019,89400
New Jersey902,271,20800
Maryland221,887,94200
Indiana941,808,01900
Nevada261,753,79700
Pennsylvania471,292,61100
Arizona411,220,87700
Oregon28767,15100
Wisconsin238642,69600
Connecticut9508,79800
Idaho28330,54500
Michigan30248,64600
South Dakota70235,33600
Massachusetts21234,30200
Delaware7220,09200
Kentucky26199,91400
Iowa24186,28300
Maine78173,98600
Montana6489,55900
Missouri2383,53700
New Hampshire1154,83600
Minnesota533,10900
Alaska5230,01000
Colorado129,50000
North Dakota147,40600
Alabama25,32200
West Virginia32,60400
Washington141,50000
Hawaii11,12000
Wyoming384200
Virginia182500
Total3,93555,285,48934150,899

The Most Polluted Communities

3,935 water utilities reported detecting Selenium (total) in tap water since 2004, according to EWG's analysis of water quality data supplied by state water agencies

Ranked by highest average Selenium (total) level

RankSystem Population Served Positive test results of total reported tests Average Level
(Range)
1Willard
Willard, UT
2,2001 of 1125.33 ppb
(125.33 ppb)
2Paul Cobb Water System
Lubbock, TX
405 of 5117.57 ppb
(93.4 to 148 ppb)
3Valley Estates
Lubbock, TX
703 of 392.57 ppb
(87.9 to 97.1 ppb)
4Sleepy Hollow Acres
Pierce, NE
256 of 674.62 ppb
(60.5 to 94.5 ppb)
5City of Wilson
Wilson, TX
5325 of 563.6 ppb
(33.8 to 78.3 ppb)
6Ilfeld Mdwca
Gallup, NM
4001 of 160 ppb
(60 ppb)
7Town North Village Water System
Lubbock, TX
33015 of 1559.03 ppb
(43.6 to 71.9 ppb)
8Resthaven Mobile Home Park
Paso Robles, CA
753 of 356.67 ppb
(35 to 71 ppb)
9Village of Hildreth
Hildreth, NE
37019 of 1952.97 ppb
(38.8 to 69.8 ppb)
10Cedar Ridge Estates Development Co
Oklahoma City, OK
1109 of 951.18 ppb
(37.8 to 59.4 ppb)

Health Based Limits for Selenium (total)

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.50 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.50 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.50 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.170 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.200 ppb

Testing Summary for Selenium (total)

Are tests routinely required for Selenium (total) by federal law?Yes
Water suppliers reporting tests for Selenium (total) (2004-2009):29,351 of 47,576
Average testing rate for water supplier reporting tests (2004-2009):0.3 per year

Violation Summary for Selenium (total)

Data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency includes the following violations of federal standards for Selenium (total) since 2004

Maximum Contaminant Level Exceedance Violations64
Monitoring Violations1,178
Reporting Violations0

Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

Type of concern: Reference:
Known human respiratory toxicant EPA Hazardous Air Pollutants
Classified as toxic or harmful European Union - Classification & Labelling
Limited evidence of gastrointestinal or liver toxicity National Library of Medicine HazMap
Limited evidence of sense organ toxicity Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 2004
Limited evidence of musculoskeletal toxicity US EPA, Air Risk Information Support Center
Limited evidence of respiratory toxicity US EPA, Air Risk Information Support Center, 1990
Limited evidence of cardiovascular or blood toxicity Klaassen, C, 1996
Limited evidence of gastrointestinal or liver toxicity California EPA, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, 2003
Limited evidence of musculoskeletal toxicity US EPA, Air Risk Information Support Center
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
Limited evidence of kidney toxicity Merck & Co
Limited evidence of cardiovascular or blood toxicity California EPA, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, 2003
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 respiratory effects at high doses (low dose studies may be unavailable for this ingredient) RTECS®- Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 1971
One or more animal studies show metabolic effects at high doses (low dose studies may be unavailable for this ingredient) RTECS®- Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 1971
reproductive - weight of evidence unknown/unassessed/unreview: published lit review or major tox study National Library of Medicine HazMap
Classified as not expected to be potentially toxic or harmful 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 National Library of Medicine HazMap
Not suspected to be bioaccumulative Environment Canada Domestic Substance List

Developmental/reproductive toxicity

Type of concern: Reference:
Limited evidence of reproductive toxicity National Library of Medicine HazMap
Limited evidence of developmental toxicity US EPA, 9204
Limited evidence of reproductive toxicity US EPA, 9204
One or more animal studies show reproductive effects at moderate doses RTECS®- Archives of Environmental Health 1971

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
Allowed workplace exposures restricted to low doses European Union - Classification & Labelling
Strong evidence of occupational hazards European Union - Classification & Labelling

Cancer

Type of concern: Reference:
Cancer - limited evidence US EPA, Air Risk Information Support Center
One or more animal studies show tumor formation at high doses RTECS®- Yokohama Medical Bulletin 1960
Cancer - not classifiable/not likely to be human carcinogen EPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)
Cancer - not classifiable/not likely to be human carcinogen Int'l Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) - Carcinogens

Neurotoxicity

Type of concern: Reference:
One or more animal studies show brain, nervous system, or behavioral effect effects at moderate doses RTECS®- "Vrednie chemichescie veshestva 1989
One or more animal studies show brain, nervous system, or behavioral effect effects at high doses RTECS®- Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 1971

Ecotoxicology

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

Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs)

Type of concern: Reference:
One or more animal studies show skin irritation at moderate doses RTECS®- "Vrednie chemichescie veshestva 1989



Government, industry, academic studies and classifications

government/industry list/academic study appears on list as classification(s)
European Union - Classification & LabellingSELENIUM•Toxic
•Toxic by inhalation and ingestion
•Danger of cumulative effects
•May cause long-term adverse effects in the aquatic environment
European Union - Classification & LabellingSELENIUM COMPOUNDS EXCEPT CADMIUM SULPHOSELENIDE•Toxic
•Toxic by inhalation and ingestion
•Danger of cumulative effects
•Dangerous for the environment
•Very toxic to aquatic organisms
Association of Occupational and Environmental ClinicsSELENIUM• o
Canada - Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetics IngredientsSELENIUM•Prohibited from use in Canadian cosmetics
EPA Clean Water Act - Priority PollutantsSELENIUM•Priority water pollutant under the Clean Water Act
Environment Canada Domestic Substance ListSELENIUM•This chemical was NOT flagged by CEPA for further attention. The chemical was flagged for suspected persistence.
EPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)SELENIUM AND COMPOUNDS•Group D: Not classifiable as to human carcinogenicity (EPA classification)
European Union - Banned or Restricted in CosmeticsSELENIUM AND ITS COMPOUNDS•Restricted in EU cosmetics (mandatory manufacturing or structural specifications)
EPA Hazardous Air PollutantsSELENIUM COMPOUNDS•Hazardous air pollutant under Clean Air Act
National Library of Medicine HazMapSELENIUM AND COMPOUNDS•Reproductive Toxin - A chemical that is toxic to the reproductive system, including defects in the progeny and injury to male and female reproductive function: Yes;
•Toxic Pneumonitis: Yes;
•Hepatotoxin: Hepatotoxin, Secondary;
•PEL (OSHA) - Permissible exposure limit (OSHA): 0.2 mg/m3, as Se(compounds);
•LC50 - Lethal concentration in 50% of animals tested: 3228 mg/m3;
•Bioaccumulates: Yes;
•TLV (ACGIH) - Threshold limit value (ACGIH): 0.2 mg/m3, as Se(metal and compounds);
•IDLH (NIOSH) - Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health: 1 mg/m3(metal);
•MAK - Maximum Allowable Concentration (Federal Republic of Germany): 0.05 mg/m3, as Se, inhalable fraction(metal and inorg. compounds);
Int'l Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) - CarcinogensSELENIUM AND SELENIUM COMPOUNDS•IARC Group 3 (no cancer link)
Japan's Standards for CosmeticsSELENIUM COMPOUNDS•Japan - prohibited for use in cosmetics
EPA Toxic Release Inventory PBTsSELENIUM•Toxic, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Toxics Release Inventory programs
EPA Toxic Release Inventory PBTsSELENIUM COMPOUNDS•Toxic, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Toxics Release Inventory programs
Beani, 1994SELENIUMSome protection against additional UVB damage
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 2004SELENIUM•Skin or sense organ toxicity hazards: suspected
US EPA, Air Risk Information Support CenterSELENIUM•Musculoskeletal toxicity hazards: suspected
US EPA, Air Risk Information Support Center, 1990SELENIUM•Respiratory toxicity hazards: suspected
US EPA, 9204SELENIUM•Developmental toxicity hazards: suspected
US EPA, 9204SELENIUM•Reproductive toxicity hazards: suspected
Klaassen, C, 1996SELENIUM•Cardiovascular or blood toxicity hazards: suspected
California EPA, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, 2003SELENIUM•Gastrointestinal or liver toxicity hazards: suspected
US EPA, Air Risk Information Support CenterSELENIUM COMPOUNDS•Cancer hazards: suspected
US EPA, Air Risk Information Support CenterSELENIUM COMPOUNDS•Musculoskeletal toxicity hazards: suspected
US EPA, Air Risk Information Support CenterSELENIUM COMPOUNDS•Skin or sense organ toxicity hazards: suspected
US EPA, Air Risk Information Support CenterSELENIUM COMPOUNDS•Respiratory toxicity hazards: suspected
Merck & CoSELENIUM COMPOUNDS•Kidney toxicity hazards: suspected
California EPA, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, 2003SELENIUM COMPOUNDS•Cardiovascular or blood toxicity hazards: suspected
California EPA, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, 2003SELENIUM COMPOUNDS•Gastrointestinal or liver toxicity hazards: suspected
RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2005SELENIUM• occupationally related - ACGIH TLV (human TWA)
RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2006SELENIUM• occupationally related - ACGIH TLV (human TWA)
RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2007SELENIUM• occupationally related - ACGIH TLV (human TWA)
RTECS®- "Vrednie chemichescie veshestva 1989SELENIUM• skin - Hair ( human TDLo)
• skin - Nails ( human TDLo)
• brain, nervous system, or behavioral effect - Somnolence (general depressed activity) ( human TDLo)
RTECS®- Archives of Environmental Health 1971SELENIUM• reproductive - Fetotoxicity (mouse TDLo)
RTECS®- Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 1971SELENIUM• respiratory - Dyspnea (rat LD50)
• metabolic - Other changes (rat LD50)
• brain, nervous system, or behavioral effect - Somnolence (general depressed activity) (rat LD50)
RTECS®- Yokohama Medical Bulletin 1960SELENIUM• cancer - skin tumor formations - equivocal (mouse 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.
Association of Occupational and Environmental ClinicsAOEC (Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics). 2009. AEOC exposures codes and asthmagen designation.
Canada - Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetics IngredientsHealth Canada. 2007. List of Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetic Ingredients. Canada's Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist. March 2007.
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 Union - Banned or Restricted in CosmeticsEC (European Commission of the European Union). 1999-2006. Enterprise Directorate-General Pharmaceuticals and Cosmetics. The rules governing cosmetic products in the European Union, Volume 1, "Cosmetics legislation."
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).
Japan's Standards for CosmeticsJapan Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. 2006. Standards for Cosmetics. Evaluation and Licensing Division. Pharmaceutical and Food Safety Bureau.
EPA Toxic Release Inventory PBTsEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 1999. Toxics Release Inventory Program. PBT Chemical Rule.
Open scientific literature{Beani, 1994}
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
Scorecard.org Toxicity Information US 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;Nemery, B. Metal Toxicity and the Respiratory Tract. European Respiratory Journal. 3(2): 202-219. 1990.(Table 1: Summary of pulmonary toxicity of metals).
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.; A Relational Database of Hazardous Chemicals and Occupational Diseases. Browse Haz-Map by Adverse Effects http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/hazmapadv.html.
Scorecard.org Toxicity InformationKlaassen, C., M. Amdur and J. Doull (eds.). Casarett and Doull's Toxicology. The Basic Science of Poisons, 5th Ed. Pergamon Press, NY. 1996.;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 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 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
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
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. 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.
RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2005RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2005
RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2006RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2006
RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2007RTECS®- TLV/BEI,2007
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. -,273,1989
RTECS®- Archives of Environmental Health 1971RTECS®- Archives of Environmental Health. (Heldref Pub., 4000 Albemarle St., NW, Washington, DC 20016) V.1- 1960- 23,102,1971
RTECS®- Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 1971RTECS®- Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology. (Academic Press, Inc., 1 E. First St., Duluth, MN 55802) V.1- 1959- 20,89,1971
RTECS®- Yokohama Medical Bulletin 1960RTECS®- Yokohama Medical Bulletin. (Yokohama City Univ. School of Medicine, 2-33, Yokohama 232, Japan) V.1- 1950- 11,368,1960

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