National Drinking Water Database
Endothall in California
Endothall is an herbicide and defoliant used on a broad range of crops and aquatic plants. [read more]
Endothall is used mostly as a defoliant for cotton crops and as an herbicide for algae and weeds in water bodies. It can be found in drinking water due to agricultural runoff. Microbes in water quickly break down endothall, but this process can be slowed during times of oxygen depletion, which might happen following an aquatic weed kill (California Environmental Protection Agency 1997d).
Very little is known about the effects of endothall in humans. Short-term exposure to endothall at levels above the maximum contaminant level (MCL) can cause decreased breathing and heart rate and problems with stomach and the intestine in people (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) 2009b). One man died after swallowing two mouthfuls of endothall, and the autopsy showed he had bleeding (hemorrhage) and swelling (edema) of the lungs and gastrointestinal tract (California Environmental Protection Agency 1997d).
In laboratory animals, long-term exposure to high levels of endothall causes intestinal tract and liver tumors, stomach lesions, cellular changes in the kidneys, and stomach and liver inflammation (California Environmental Protection Agency 1997d). Exposure during pregnancy causes skeletal abnormalities in rats and mice (Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) 1997a).
The Most Polluted Communities in California
1 water utilities reported detecting Endothall in tap water since 2004, according to EWG's analysis of water quality data supplied by state water agencies
Ranked by highest average Endothall level
|Rank||System||Population Served||Positive test results of total reported tests||Average Level|
|1||Folsom State Prison|
|9,500||1 of 1||108.47 ppb|
Health Based Limits for Endothall
|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.||50 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.||100 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.||100 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.||250 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.||580 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.||800 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.||800 ppb|
Violation Summary for Endothall in California
Data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency includes the following violations of federal standards in California since 2004
|Violation Type||Number of Violations|
|Failure to monitor regularly||2|