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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE

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Hexachlorobenzene (HCB)

Status: National drinking water standard exists

 

Hexachlorobenzene is a cancer-causing, neurotoxic and hormone-disrupting chemical used as a pesticide until 1984. It is still found in landfills and hazardous waste sites, and can be detected in people.

2015-2017:

FOUND
FOUND ABOVE HEALTH GUIDELINES

7

states detected

27

utilities detected

297,000

people served

3

states over health guideline

5

utilities over health guideline

19,694

people served over health guideline

Health concerns for hexachlorobenzene

Cancer

Harm to the brain and nervous system

Hormone disruption

State and national drinking water standards and health guidelines

EWG Health Guideline 0.03 ppb

The EWG Health Guideline of 0.03 ppb for hexachlorobenzene was defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a public health goal, the level of a drinking water contaminant that does not pose a significant health risk. This health guideline protects against cancer.

EPA Maximum Contaminant
Level (MCL) 1 ppb

The legal limit for hexachlorobenzene, established in 1992, was based on analytical detection limits at the time that the standard was set. This limit may not fully protect against the risk of cancer due to hexachlorobenzene exposure.

ppb = parts per billion

States reporting hexachlorobenzene in drinking water

UTILITIES REPORTING ABOVE HEALTH GUIDELINES UTILITIES WITH CONTAMINATION
State UtilitiesPeople Served UtilitiesPeople Served
Florida15,4556155,614
Colorado001189,994
Massachusetts00222,636
Pennsylvania110,100110,100
New Mexico0028,624
Nevada0025,700
Louisiana34,13934,139
MORE
LESS

Filtering technologies that reduce hexachlorobenzene

carbon filter icon

Activated Carbon

reverse osmosis icon

Reverse Osmosis

Utilities with the highest amounts of hexachlorobenzene, 2015-2017

ALL UTILITIES
LARGE UTILITIES
UtilityLocationTestsAverage levelPeople served
Tri County Joint Municipal Authority*Fredericktown, PA1 of 40.128 ppb10,100
Columbia Heights Water DistrictColumbia, LA2 of 80.0550 ppb1,965
City of Fort MeadeFort Meade, FL1 of 20.0500 ppb5,455
Red Hill Waterworks Inc.*Georgetown, LA2 of 140.0429 ppb1,872
Village of Georgetown Water SupplyGeorgetown, LA2 of 140.0429 ppb302
Mulberry, City ofMulberry, FL2 of 50.00720 ppb3,780
Entranosa Water and Wastewater Co-op*Tijeras, NM1 of 30.00700 ppb8,500
East Mountain Water HaulingTijeras, NM1 of 30.00700 ppb124
South Broward Utility/sunriseFort Lauderdale, FL1 of 30.00667 ppb9,457
Fern Crest Utilities Inc.Ft Lauderdale, FL1 of 30.00600 ppb4,643
Bourne Water District*Pocasset, MA1 of 280.00332 ppb22,500
Schooner Pass Trustees CondominiumsBourne, MA1 of 280.00332 ppb136
Redstone Water & Sanitation DistrictSnowmass, CO1 of 20.00305 ppb180
Miramar (East & West) PlantsMiramar, FL1 of 60.00300 ppb128,729
Town of BreckenridgeBreckenridge, CO1 of 40.00243 ppb36,258
Frostproof, City ofFrostproof, FL2 of 60.00210 ppb3,550
Windcliff Property Owners AssociationEstes Park, CO1 of 70.00140 ppb140
Town of Estes Park*Estes Park, CO1 of 70.00140 ppb16,022
Prospect Mountain Water CompanyLouisville, CO1 of 70.00140 ppb350
Peetz, Town ofPeetz, CO1 of 100.00130 ppb295
Paint Brush HillsFalcon, CO1 of 160.00125 ppb3,250
Yuma, City ofYuma, CO2 of 150.000913 ppb4,049
Ely Municipal Water Department*Ely, NV1 of 100.000710 ppb5,000
Ruth Water DistrictMcgill, NV1 of 100.000710 ppb700
Mountain Village, Town ofRedvale, CO1 of 100.000520 ppb8,700
Ellicott Utilities Company LLCColorado Springs, CO1 of 210.000476 ppb150
Cherokee MD*Colorado Springs, CO1 of 210.000476 ppb20,600

* This water utility supplies finished drinking water to at least one other water utility. The purchasing utility is not required to test for or report Hexachlorobenzene (HCB), but it likely has the contaminant in its water supply.

UtilityLocationTestsAverage levelPeople served
Tri County Joint Municipal Authority*Fredericktown, PA1 of 40.128 ppb10,100
Bourne Water District*Pocasset, MA1 of 280.00332 ppb22,500
Miramar (East & West) PlantsMiramar, FL1 of 60.00300 ppb128,729
Town of BreckenridgeBreckenridge, CO1 of 40.00243 ppb36,258
Town of Estes Park*Estes Park, CO1 of 70.00140 ppb16,022
Cherokee MD*Colorado Springs, CO1 of 210.000476 ppb20,600

* This water utility supplies finished drinking water to at least one other water utility. The purchasing utility is not required to test for or report Hexachlorobenzene (HCB), but it likely has the contaminant in its water supply.