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National Drinking Water Database
1,2-Dichloroethane in Maryland
1,2-Dichloroethane is a chemical used in the production of vinyl chloride; it is released as a pollutant from industrial chemical factories. [read more]
1,2-Dichloroethane (Ethylene dichloride)
1,2-Dichloroethane (1,2-DCA) is used mainly as an intermediate in the production of vinyl chloride and as solvent. It is a high production volume chemical (HPV), with billions of pounds produced annually (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) 1990a, 2002r).
The most common use of 1,2-DCA today is to make plastic and vinyl products such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes and other construction materials, packaging material, furniture and automobile upholstery, wall coverings, housewares and automobile parts. Previously, 1,2-dichloroethane was used in industry to clean cloth, remove grease from metal, and to break down fats, oils, waxes, resins and rubber. In the home, it was found in cleaning supplies, pesticides, and some adhesives, paint, varnish and finish removers. Every year, hundreds of thousands of pounds of 1,2-dichloroethane are released into the environment from chemical industries, and it has been found in 570 hazardous waste sites across the U.S. (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) 2001c).
The National Toxicology Program (NTP) classifies 1,2-dicloroethane as "reasonably anticipated" to be a human carcinogen (NTP 2002a). When fed to rats or mice, 1,2-dicloroethane causes tumors of the lung in both sexes (adenomas). In females, it causes breast (mammary gland adenocarcinomas) and uterine (endometrial stromal neoplasms) tumors. In males, 1,2-dicloroethane causes tumors of the liver (hepatocellular carcinomas), forestomach (squamous cell carcinomas), blood vessels (hemangiosarcomas) and connective tissue (subcutaneous fibroma) (ATSDR 2001c; World Health Organization (WHO) 2004a).
In laboratory animals, exposure to 1,2-dichloroethane causes death at high doses, and damage to the liver, kidneys, brain, stomach and thymus (an immune system tissue). In mice, the immune system is the most sensitive target for short-term 1,2-dichloroethane exposures, resulting in increased susceptibility to bacterial infection and decreased humoral and cell-mediated immunity (ATSDR 2001c).
In people, two studies did find an association with 1,2-dichoroethane in drinking water and increased risk of major cardiac (Bove 1995) or neural tube defects (Croen 1997) in babies. According to EPA, long-term exposure to 1,2-dichloroethane may increase the risk of cancer (USEPA 2009b).
The Most Polluted Communities in Maryland
1 water utilities reported detecting 1,2-Dichloroethane 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-Dichloroethane level
|Rank||System||Population Served||Positive test results of total reported tests||Average Level|
|1||Town of Denton|
|3,600||1 of 3||0.33 ppb|
(0 to 1 ppb)
Health Based Limits for 1,2-Dichloroethane
|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|
|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.||0.38 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.||0.4 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.||0.4 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.||5 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.||40 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.||700 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.||700 ppb|
Violation Summary for 1,2-Dichloroethane in Maryland
Data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency includes the following violations of federal standards in Maryland since 2004
|Violation Type||Number of Violations|
|Failure to monitor regularly||1|