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National Drinking Water Database
2,4-D in Oregon
2,4-D is a chlorophenol herbicide used on row crops, lawns and golf courses. [read more]
2,4-D is a chlorophenol herbicide applied on wheat, barley, oats, sorghum, rice and sugarcane. It is also applied to golf courses and lawns, and used to heighten the red color in potatoes and to promote tomato ripening. 2,4-D was one of two herbicide components of Agent Orange, the defoliant used during the Vietnam War (Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB) 2003b). 2,4-D is a High Production Volume (HPV) chemical with annual U.S. production and imports exceeding one million pounds (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) 1998b).
Drinking water contamination with 2,4-D is primarily due to runoff from herbicide applications as well as some industrial releases.
According to the EPA consumer fact sheet for water contaminants, long-term exposure to levels of 2,4-D above the maximum contaminant level (MCL) can lead to nervous system damage and kidney and liver damage (USEPA 2009b). Other summaries of 2,4-D toxicity note that it causes damage to the liver, kidney, thyroid, gastrointestinal tract, sperm and chromosomes in laboratory animals. Animals exposed to 2,4-D during gestation are born underdeveloped and apathetic, and are more likely to have birth defects than unexposed animals (Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB) 2003b).
In people, 2,4-D poisoning has been linked to heart inflammation, rapid heart rate, kidney damage, uterine bleeding, nerve inflammation, muscle damage, skin irritation, numbness in hands, weakness, a burning sensation in the mouth and chest, drowsiness, unsteadiness, speech difficulty, breathing difficulty, dilated pupils, profuse sweating and loss of sexual potency (HSDB 2003b). Farmers exposed to 2,4-D were found to have higher incidences of dead, immobilized, malformed, and slow-moving sperm (HSDB 2003b).
The Most Polluted Communities in Oregon
1 water utilities reported detecting 2,4-D in tap water since 2004, according to EWG's analysis of water quality data supplied by state water agencies
Ranked by highest average 2,4-D level
|Rank||System||Population Served||Positive test results of total reported tests||Average Level|
|1||Lake Oswego Municipal Water|
Lake Oswego, OR
|36,093||1 of 7||0.09 ppb|
(0 to 0.63 ppb)
Health Based Limits for 2,4-D
|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.||20 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.||70 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.||70 ppb|
|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.||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.||200 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.||300 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.||1000 ppb|
Violation Summary for 2,4-D in Oregon
Data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency includes the following violations of federal standards in Oregon since 2004
|Violation Type||Number of Violations|
|Failure to monitor regularly||130|