National Drinking Water Database
Ethylbenzene in Idaho
Ethylbenzene is a pollutant from petroleum refineries and industrial chemical factories; it is also used to make plastics, and may be present as an impurity in some insecticides. [read more]
Ethylbenzene is a naturally-occurring chemical in petroleum and coal tar, and is used to make styrene, a component in plastics. It is also used as a solvent for coatings and in manufactured products such as inks, pesticides and paints (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) 1999e, 2007e; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) 2009b).
The transportation equipment, chemicals, petroleum and lumber industries release the most ethylbenzene into the environment. Annually, they discharge millions of pounds of ethylbenzene. Ethylbenzene releases have been detected in every state across the country, with highest levels around petroleum refineries (USEPA 2009b, 2009i).
Short-term exposure to levels of ethylbenzene above the maximum contaminant level (MCL) may cause drowsiness, fatigue, dizziness, headache and mild eye and respiratory irritation (USEPA 2009b). Irreversible damage to the inner ear and hearing has been observed in animals exposed to relatively low concentrations of ethylbenzene for several days to weeks (ATSDR 2007). Longer-term exposure can damage the lung, liver, kidney, central nervous system, thyroid, testes and eye (USEPA 2009b).
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has determined that ethylbenzene is a possible human carcinogen (IARC 2008b).
The Most Polluted Communities in Idaho
3 water utilities reported detecting Ethylbenzene in tap water since 2004, according to EWG's analysis of water quality data supplied by state water agencies
Ranked by highest average Ethylbenzene level
|Rank||System||Population Served||Positive test results of total reported tests||Average Level|
|1||Syringa Water and Sewer|
Coeur D Alene, ID
|46||1 of 1||5.1 ppb|
|2||Wilderness Ranch Owners Association Inc|
|525||1 of 5||0.3 ppb|
(0 to 1.5 ppb)
|3||Riverland Terrace Nonprofit Water Corp|
|99||1 of 8||0.1 ppb|
(0 to 0.83 ppb)
Health Based Limits for Ethylbenzene
|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.||300 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.||530 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.||700 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.||700 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.||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.||3000 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.||3000 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.||30000 ppb|
Violation Summary for Ethylbenzene in Idaho
Data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency includes the following violations of federal standards in Idaho since 2004
|Violation Type||Number of Violations|
|Failure to monitor regularly||29|