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National Drinking Water Database


National Drinking Water Database - Chemical Contaminants

Total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)


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

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are a group of highly toxic chlorinated industrial chemicals used as dielectrics, coolants and lubricants in electrical equipment; PCBs contaminate water by leaching from landfills or other waste deposits. [read more]

 
Detected
Found above
health guidelines
Found above
legal limit
States
8
8
1
Water utilities
12
12
1
People Served
140,247
140,247
15,147

Total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) Exposure by State

Water utilities in 8 states have reported detecting Total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in treated tap water since 2004, according to EWG's analysis of water quality data supplied by state water agencies.

StateWater Suppliers with Total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) contaminationWater suppliers reporting Total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) above health-based limits
SystemsPopulationSystemsPopulation
California153,903153,903
Kentucky249,797249,797
New York324,521324,521
Florida19,44519,445
Oregon22,00522,005
Ohio14051405
Indiana11141114
North Carolina157157
Total12140,24712140,247

The Most Polluted Communities

12 water utilities reported detecting Total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in tap water since 2004, according to EWG's analysis of water quality data supplied by state water agencies

Ranked by highest average Total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) level

RankSystem Population Served Positive test results of total reported tests Average Level
(Range)
1Paris Water Works
Paris, KY
15,1471 of 40.14 ppb
(0 to 0.56 ppb)
2Lombard Water Company
St Helens, OR
3051 of 30.07 ppb
(0 to 0.2 ppb)
3Muscatatuck Urban Training Center
Butlerville, IN
1141 of 60.04 ppb
(0 to 0.23 ppb)
4Mcwa, Genesee West
Rochester, NY
8001 of 20.04 ppb
(0 to 0.07 ppb)
5Rolling Acres S/D
Raleigh, NC
571 of 90.03 ppb
(0 to 0.31 ppb)
6Florida City
Florida City, FL
9,4451 of 30.03 ppb
(0 to 0.1 ppb)
7Banks Water Department
Banks, OR
1,7001 of 40.03 ppb
(0 to 0.1 ppb)
8Oh/Am Mansfield System 6
Marion, OH
4051 of 20.03 ppb
(0 to 0.05 ppb)
9Bardstown Municipal Water Dept
Bardstown, KY
34,6501 of 70.02 ppb
(0 to 0.11 ppb)
10City of Lodi
Lodi, CA
53,9031 of 23< 0.01 ppb
(0 to 0.08 ppb)

Health Based Limits for Total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)

StandardDescriptionLevel
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.0 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.<0.01 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.0.09 ppb
One in one million (10-6) Cancer RiskThe concentration of a chemical in drinking water corresponding to an excess estimated lifetime cancer risk of 1 in 1,000,000. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.0.1 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.0.5 ppb
One in ten thousand (10-4) Cancer RiskThe concentration of a chemical in drinking water corresponding to an excess estimated lifetime cancer risk of 1 in 10,000. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.10 ppb

Testing Summary for Total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)

Are tests routinely required for Total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) by federal law?Yes
Water suppliers reporting tests for Total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) (2004-2009):12,916 of 47,576
Average testing rate for water supplier reporting tests (2004-2009):0.4 per year

Violation Summary for Total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)

Data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency includes the following violations of federal standards for Total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) since 2004

Maximum Contaminant Level Exceedance Violations0
Monitoring Violations1,189
Reporting Violations0