National Drinking Water Database
Oxamyl (Vydate) in Massachusetts
Oxamyl is a neurotoxic insecticide used on cotton, fruit and vegetable crops (apples, potatoes and tomatoes). [read more]
Oxamyl is a neurotoxic insecticide used on cotton and a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Oxamyl belongs to a group of carbamate pesticides that affect the functioning of the nervous system (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) 2000a, 2007b). Pesticides like oxamyl may be found in drinking water as a result of surface and groundwater contamination. Oxamyl can persist in the environment and has been found in groundwater in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island (California Environmental Protection Agency 1997e; USEPA 2007b).
Oxamyl is extremely poisonous to humans and wildlife such as birds and mammals (Extension Toxicology Network (EXTOXNET) 1993b). Oxamyl inhibits normal communication in the nervous system, causing muscle twitches, hyperactivity, and tremor in laboratory animals. In humans, exposure to neurotoxicants like oxamyl can cause dizziness, confusion, nausea and at very high exposures, respiratory shutdown and death (USEPA 2000a). Other effects noted in laboratory animals include decreased body weight and vomiting. In rats, exposure during pregnancy leads to delayed development and low birth weight in offspring, and death (California Environmental Protection Agency 1997e).
According to EPA fact sheets for drinking water contaminants, short-term exposure to oxamyl in drinking water above the maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 0.2 parts per million (ppm) can cause tremors, salivation and tearing. Longer-term exposure may cause nervous system effects (USEPA 2009b).
The most recent EPA estimate of oxamyl usage on crops is an average of 800,000 pounds per year. Cotton accounts for approximately 75 percent of oxamyl usage and the remaining 25 percent is used mostly on apples, celery, potatoes, tomatoes, sweet peppers, onions and cucumbers (USEPA 2007b).
The Most Polluted Communities in Massachusetts
2 water utilities reported detecting Oxamyl (Vydate) in tap water since 2004, according to EWG's analysis of water quality data supplied by state water agencies
Ranked by highest average Oxamyl (Vydate) level
|Rank||System||Population Served||Positive test results of total reported tests||Average Level|
|1||Saint Benedict Abbey|
|35||1 of 3||0.67 ppb|
(0 to 2 ppb)
|2||North Attleboro Water Dept|
North Attleborough, MA
|26,000||1 of 11||0.18 ppb|
(0 to 2 ppb)
Health Based Limits for Oxamyl (Vydate)
|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|
|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.||26 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.||35 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.||200 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.||200 ppb|
Violation Summary for Oxamyl (Vydate) in Massachusetts
Data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency includes the following violations of federal standards in Massachusetts since 2004
|Violation Type||Number of Violations|
|Failure to monitor regularly||28|