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Benzo[a]pyrene

Status: National drinking water standard exists

 

Benzo[a]pyrene is a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, or PAH, released from combustion of fossil fuels and waste incinerators. PAHs increase the risk of cancer; damage the immune, nervous and reproductive systems; and can harm developing fetuses.

2015:

FOUND
FOUND ABOVE HEALTH GUIDELINES

12

states detected

44

utilities detected

2.0 million

people served

10

states over health guideline

31

utilities over health guideline

622,000

people served over health guideline

Health concerns for benzo[a]pyrene

Cancer

Harm to the immune system

Harm to reproduction and child development

Change to the central nervous system

State and national drinking water standards and health guidelines

Health Guideline 0.007 ppb

The health guideline of 0.007 ppb for benzo[a]pyrene 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.

ppb = parts per billion.

EPA Maximum Contaminant
Level (MCL) 0.2 ppb

The enforceable federal standard that defines the highest level of a contaminant allowed in drinking water.

ppb = parts per billion.

EPA Maximum Contaminant
Level Goal (MCLG)0 ppb

A non-enforceable federal health guideline. For cancer-causing chemicals, these health goals are typically set to zero.

ppb = parts per billion.

States reporting benzo[a]pyrene in drinking water

UTILITIES REPORTING ABOVE HEALTH GUIDELINES UTILITIES WITH CONTAMINATION
State UtilitiesPeople Served UtilitiesPeople Served
Indiana008841,786
Arizona005511,273
North Carolina2348,7722348,772
California10136,46310136,463
Rhode Island468,268468,268
Illinois344,401344,401
Pennsylvania414,107414,107
Arkansas16,59416,594
Vermont31,79431,794
Oregon29392939
Florida11581158
New York178178
MORE
LESS

Utilities with the highest amounts of benzo[a]pyrene, 2015

ALL UTILITIES
LARGE UTILITIES
UtilityLocationTestsAverage levelPeople served
Derby Center Water System*Derby, VT1 of 10.600 ppb1,400
Coal City*Coal City, IL1 of 20.0655 ppb4,797
Ponderosa Pines Water CompanyLa Pine, OR1 of 20.0500 ppb874
Riverfront Trailer ParkGrants Pass, OR1 of 20.0400 ppb65
Bee's Rv ResortClermont, FL1 of 10.0400 ppb158
Vali-view Mobile Home ParkMontoursville, PA1 of 30.0300 ppb150
Cameron Valley EstatesLawrenceville, NY1 of 10.0210 ppb78
Dequeen Water WorkDequeen, AR1 of 20.0200 ppb6,594
Orange Water & Sewer Authority*Carrboro, NC1 of 20.01000 ppb83,300
City of Newport*Newport, RI1 of 110.00909 ppb43,809
Sonoma County Water Agency*Santa Rosa, CA1 of 140.00786 ppb500
Beaver Borough Municipal Authority*Beaver, PA1 of 30.00733 ppb5,799
Kingman Municipal Water*Kingman, AZ2 of 140.00464 ppb45,000
Citizens Water - Indianapolis*Indianapolis, IN1 of 1090.000367 ppb809,778
City of Chandler*Chandler, AZ1 of 700.000286 ppb300,000

* 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 Benzo[a]pyrene, but it likely has the contaminant in its water supply.

UtilityLocationTestsAverage levelPeople served
Orange Water & Sewer Authority*Carrboro, NC1 of 20.01000 ppb83,300
City of Newport*Newport, RI1 of 110.00909 ppb43,809
Kingman Municipal Water*Kingman, AZ2 of 140.00464 ppb45,000
Citizens Water - Indianapolis*Indianapolis, IN1 of 1090.000367 ppb809,778
City of Chandler*Chandler, AZ1 of 700.000286 ppb300,000

* 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 Benzo[a]pyrene, but it likely has the contaminant in its water supply.