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National Drinking Water Database
1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene in North Carolina
1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene is a pollutant from textile finishing factories and industrial chemical manufacturing. [read more]
1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene is used as a chemical intermediate in the manufacture of dyes, polymers and herbicides; it also has industrial applications as a dielectric fluid, solvent, lubricant, degreasing agent, cleaning solution additive, wood preservative and heat transfer medium. Previously, 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene had been used as a soil treatment for termite control, and its direct application to soils has resulted in water contamination (Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB) 2002a). Over one million pounds of 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene are produced or imported into the U.S. every year, making it a High Production Volume (HPV) chemical (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) 1998b).
1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene enters drinking water supplies from industrial releases into water and land (such as landfills, mixed into surface soil, spills, holding ponds, underground injections), primarily from its manufacture and use as a dye carrier (USEPA 2002b, 2009i).
According to the U.S. EPA, short-term exposure to drinking water contaminated with 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene above the maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 0.07 parts per million (ppm) can cause damage to the liver, kidney and adrenal glands. Long-term exposure to levels above the MCL may cause adrenal damage (USEPA 2004b). Laboratory animal studies show that high doses of 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene cause liver and lung tumors as well as damage to the kidney, thyroid, spleen and adrenal glands (California Environmental Protection Agency 1999b). Occupational exposure to 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene has been linked with anemia, chloracne (a type of dermatitis), and coughing up blood at high levels of exposure (California Environmental Protection Agency 1999b).
In a recent study, 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene was detected in 65 percent of the serum samples and 100 percent of the ovarian follicular fluid samples of 75 Ontario women participating in fertility treatments. The author suggested that although it is unlikely that the low levels of 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene detected may have caused reproductive disorders, further studies into the antiestrogenic effects of the compound would be warranted (Foster 1995).
The Most Polluted Communities in North Carolina
2 water utilities reported detecting 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene in tap water since 2004, according to EWG's analysis of water quality data supplied by state water agencies
Ranked by highest average 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene level
|Rank||System||Population Served||Positive test results of total reported tests||Average Level|
|74||1 of 7||0.16 ppb|
(0 to 1.14 ppb)
Mt Airy, NC
|272||1 of 12||0.08 ppb|
(0 to 0.9 ppb)
Health Based Limits for 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene
|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.||5 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|
|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.||70 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.||100 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.||100 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.||260 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.||350 ppb|
Violation Summary for 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene in North Carolina
Data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency includes the following violations of federal standards in North Carolina since 2004
|Violation Type||Number of Violations|
|Failure to monitor regularly||324|