National Drinking Water Database
Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate in Maine
Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate is a pollutant from rubber and industrial chemical factories and a leachate from PVC pipes; it is classified by EPA as a probable human carcinogen. [read more]
Di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) is a plasticizer used in consumer and medical products. It can cross the placenta, disrupt steroid hormone synthesis, and may lead to cancer (Adibi 2009). As stated by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), "it is almost impossible to completely avoid contact with some DEHP because it is commonly found in plastics" (ATSDR 2002e).
In laboratory animals, fetal exposure to DEHP causes significant developmental and reproductive toxicity, with notable abnormalities in the male reproductive tract. In adult animals, DEHP causes toxicity to the reproductive organs, adrenal gland, liver and kidney (ATSDR 2002e; Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR) 2000). Based on findings of liver cancer in rats and mice, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that DEHP is a probable human carcinogen (Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) 1997c).
Human epidemiological studies show certain phthalates, especially DEHP, to be significantly associated with reduced anogenital distance in human male infants, which is a measure of subtle adverse developmental effects in human male infants exposed prenatally to endocrine disrupting chemicals (Marsee 2006). Scientists have also reported that DEHP may interfere with signaling related to the timing of birth and may increase the risk of delayed delivery and cesarean section delivery (Adibi 2009).
Phthalates such as DEHP have an adverse effect on the immune system and have been linked to the development of asthma and allergies in numerous epidemiological studies (Jaakkola 2008).
The Most Polluted Communities in Maine
3 water utilities reported detecting Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate in tap water since 2004, according to EWG's analysis of water quality data supplied by state water agencies
Ranked by highest average Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate level
|Rank||System||Population Served||Positive test results of total reported tests||Average Level|
|1||Cornish Water District|
|650||1 of 1||0.11 ppb|
|2||Portland Water Dist /Greater|
|136,945||1 of 4||0.05 ppb|
(0 to 0.2 ppb)
|3||Madawaska Water District|
|2,840||1 of 3||0.02 ppb|
(0 to 0.07 ppb)
Health Based Limits for Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate
|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.||0 ppb|
|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.||3 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.||6 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.||12 ppb|
|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.||300 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.||700 ppb|
Violation Summary for Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate in Maine
Data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency includes the following violations of federal standards in Maine since 2004
|Violation Type||Number of Violations|
|Failure to monitor regularly||1|