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National Drinking Water Database
Antimony (total) in Rhode Island
Antimony is a metal that enters water from petroleum refinery pollution, fire retardants, ceramics, electronics and solder. [read more]
Antimony is a naturally occurring element found in the earth's crust. Antimony is used in alloys with lead or zinc in manufacture of batteries, solder, sheet and pipe metal, bearings, castings, ammunition, pewter, glass for television picture tubes and computer monitors, and in pigments as well as in stabilizers and catalysts for plastics. Antimony trioxide is frequently used as a flame retardant in textiles and plastics (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) 1992a). Antimony is a contaminant of coal and petroleum, so it can be released into the air by coal burning power plants. High antimony releases to water and land are also associated with petroleum refinery industries (USEPA 2009d).
The drinking water contaminant fact sheet written by the Environmental Protection Agency for antimony states that long-term exposure to antimony in drinking water above the maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 6 parts per billion (ppb) could lead to increases in blood cholesterol and decreases in blood sugar (USEPA 2009b). In laboratory animals, high levels of antimony in drinking water can cause diarrhea and damage the liver and red blood cells (ATSDR 1992a).
The chemical form of antimony in drinking water is a key determinant of its toxicity, which differs between various antimony compounds (WHO 2004a). Humans are substantially more sensitive to antimony exposure than are rodents; ingestion of large amounts of antimony induces severe stomach upset, resulting in vomiting. Based on these toxicity data, in 2009 the California Environmental Protection Agency proposed a Public Health Goal (PHG) of 0.0007 mg/L or 0.7 parts per billion (ppb) antimony in drinking water, 8.5 times lower than the current EPA limit (California Environmental Protection Agency 2009c).
In 2004, the U.S. EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) reported that in 2002 U.S. industrial facilities released 1,931,405 pounds of antimony and 14,258,138 pounds of antimony compounds into the environment, mostly onto the land (such as landfills, mixed into surface soil, spills, holding ponds). The largest emissions are associated with metal mining, solvent recovery and primary metal industries (USEPA 2009i).
The Most Polluted Communities in Rhode Island
1 water utilities reported detecting Antimony (total) in tap water since 2004, according to EWG's analysis of water quality data supplied by state water agencies
Ranked by highest average Antimony (total) level
|Rank||System||Population Served||Positive test results of total reported tests||Average Level|
|1||Kent County Water Authority|
West Warwick, RI
|70,000||1 of 5||0.4 ppb|
(0 to 2 ppb)
Health Based Limits for Antimony (total)
|EPA Human Health Water Quality Criteria||Water 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.||5.6 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.||6 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.||6 ppb|
|Lifetime health-based limit, non-cancer risk||Concentration 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.||6 ppb|
|Children's health-based limit for 1-day exposure||Concentration 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.||10 ppb|
|Children's health-based limit for 10-day exposure||Concentration 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.||10 ppb|
|Drinking Water Equivalent Level||A 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.||10 ppb|
|California Public Health Goals||Defined 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.||20 ppb|
Violation Summary for Antimony (total) in Rhode Island
There are no violations reported for this contaminant in Rhode Island