National Drinking Water Database
Beryllium (total) in Kentucky
Beryllium is a metal associated with metal refineries and combustion of fossil fuels, especially coal burning; it is released into the environment from electrical, aerospace and defense industries. [read more]
Beryllium is a naturally occurring element used in electronics and electrical components, and in aerospace and defense applications. Environmental releases of beryllium and beryllium compounds result from discharge from metal refineries; discharge from electrical, aerospace, and defense industries; coal and rocket fuel burning, and the copper rolling and drawing industry (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) 2002d). In 2004, the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) reported that industrial facilities released 1,117,232 pounds of beryllium and beryllium compounds into U.S. air, water, and land during the year 2002 (USEPA 2009i).
Beryllium and beryllium compounds are one of 49 substances considered by the National Toxicology Program to be known human carcinogens (NTP 2002a). Workers exposed to beryllium and beryllium compounds have a higher incidence of lung cancer (NTP 2002a). Also, oral exposure to beryllium and beryllium compounds can affect the lungs, damage bones, produce intestinal lesions and cause weight loss in people (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) 2002a, USEPA 2002d).
Animals exposed to beryllium and beryllium compounds have increased risk for developing lung cancer, in some cases after just one high dose exposure (NTP 2002a). Besides lung cancer, beryllium and beryllium compounds cause many other toxic effects in animals. Oral exposure to beryllium and beryllium compounds causes ulcers and inflammation in the stomach, small intestine and large intestines. Dogs exposed to these compounds are prone to bone marrow abnormalities and rats develop rickets (bending and distortion of bones), which can occur when beryllium phosphate formation in the gastrointestinal tract leads to decreased absorption of phosphate. Heart enlargement, liver and kidney degeneration, adrenal gland effects, and developmental abnormalities have been observed in animals after inhalation exposure (ATSDR 2002a).
The Most Polluted Communities in Kentucky
1 water utilities reported detecting Beryllium (total) in tap water since 2004, according to EWG's analysis of water quality data supplied by state water agencies
Ranked by highest average Beryllium (total) level
|Rank||System||Population Served||Positive test results of total reported tests||Average Level|
|1||Knox County Utility Commission|
|8,029||1 of 6||0.02 ppb|
(0 to 0.1 ppb)
Health Based Limits for Beryllium (total)
|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.||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.||4 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.||4 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.||70 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.||30000 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.||30000 ppb|
Violation Summary for Beryllium (total) in Kentucky
Data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency includes the following violations of federal standards in Kentucky since 2004
|Violation Type||Number of Violations|
|Failure to monitor regularly||14|