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National Drinking Water Database
Asbestos in Utah
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]
Asbestos is the name given to a group of six different naturally occurring fibrous minerals: amosite, chrysotile, crocidolite, and fibrous varieties of tremolite, actinolite, anthophyllite. Historically, asbestos has been used in a wide range of manufacturing processes, especially building materials. People can be exposed to asbestos in the air, especially if they live near an asbestos mine or factory, or have disturbed something that has been made with asbestos such as insulation, ceiling and floor tiles, dry wall, roof shingles, automotive breaks and cement. Asbestos finds its way into drinking water by erosion of natural deposits, waste piles, or asbestos-containing cement pipes that carry drinking water, or from filter systems that use asbestos-based filters. Most of the asbestos fibers in water are chrysotile. Children can also be exposed to asbestos from playing in or eating asbestos-contaminated soil (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) 2001a).
Asbestos is a known human carcinogen (National Toxicology Program (NTP) 2002a). Workers exposed to several forms of asbestos (chrysotile, amosite, anthophyllite, and mixtures with crocidolite) are at high risk for developing lung cancers. Other cancers increased in workers include those of the gastrointestinal tract, larynx, and lining of the lung, abdominal cavity and internal organs (mesotheliomas) (NTP 2002a). Workers typically are exposed to asbestos by inhalation, whereas asbestos in drinking water would be considered oral exposure. Very few studies have looked at health effects in humans due to drinking asbestos, but those that have report increases in cancer death or incidence at one or more sites, especially the gastrointestinal tract. Animal studies show that eating or drinking asbestos can cause precancerous colon lesions and gastrointestinal tract tumors (ATSDR 2001a).
According to the U.S. EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), 6,651,126 pounds of asbestos were released into the environment in 2002 (USEPA 2009i).
The Most Polluted Communities in Utah
1 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
|Rank||System||Population Served||Positive test results of total reported tests||Average Level|
|2,000||1 of 1||0.36 MFL|
Health Based Limits for Asbestos
|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 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.||7 MFL|
|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.||7 MFL|
|One in one million (10-6) Cancer Risk||The 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 Risk||The 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 Utah
There are no violations reported for this contaminant in Utah