The Power of Information

National Drinking Water Database


Asbestos in Massachusetts


Asbestos is a mineral fiber introduced into water by the dissolution of asbestos-containing minerals and from decay of asbestos cement in water mains. [read more]

The Most Polluted Communities in Massachusetts

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

Ranked by highest average Asbestos level

RankSystem Population Served Positive test results of total reported tests Average Level
(Range)
1Braintree Water & Sewer Dept.
MA
33,6001 of 110 MFL
(10 MFL)
2Dedham Westwood Water Dist.
Westwood, MA
40,0001 of 17 MFL
(7 MFL)
3Rowley Water Department
Rowley, MA
5,3931 of 11.45 MFL
(1.45 MFL)
4Sharon Water Dept
Sharon, MA
20,4001 of 10.58 MFL
(0.58 MFL)
5Hopedale Water Department
Hopedale, MA
6,0811 of 10.5 MFL
(0.5 MFL)
6Gosnold Water Dept
Gosnold, MA
6501 of 10.18 MFL
(0.18 MFL)
7Freetown Water Commission
Freetown, MA
2,0001 of 20.1 MFL
(0 to 0.2 MFL)
8Woburn Water Dept.
Woburn, MA
37,2581 of 10.1 MFL
(0.1 MFL)
9Sterling Water Department
Sterling, MA
7,0661 of 10.1 MFL
(0.1 MFL)
10Warren Water District
MA
2,1451 of 10.07 MFL
(0.07 MFL)

Health Based Limits for Asbestos

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.7 MFL
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.7 MFL
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.7 MFL
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.7 MFL
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.7 MFL
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.700 MFL

Violation Summary for Asbestos in Massachusetts

Data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency includes the following violations of federal standards in Massachusetts since 2004

Violation TypeNumber of Violations
Failure to monitor regularly3