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Tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene)

Status: National drinking water standard exists

 

Dry cleaning chemical tetrachloroethylene, or perc, can cause cancer. It pollutes soil and groundwater due to emissions from dry cleaning facilities, and automotive, metalworking and other industries. Read More.

The EPA considers tetrachloroethylene a likely human carcinogen. It has been linked with increased incidence of lung, breast and colon cancers. Tetrachloroethylene also damages the liver, kidneys and central nervous system. The California public health goal of 0.06 parts per billion, set to protect against cancer, is 80 times lower than the amount allowed by the federal government, which is a Maximum Contaminant Level of 5 parts per billion.

Click here to read more about carcinogenic VOCs.

2015:

FOUND
FOUND ABOVE HEALTH GUIDELINES

43

states detected

464

utilities detected

19 million

people served

43

states over health guideline

438

utilities over health guideline

12 million

people served over health guideline

Health concerns for tetrachloroethylene

Lung cancer

Breast cancer

Colon cancer

Harm to the kidney

Harm to the liver

Harm to the central nervous system

State and national drinking water standards and health guidelines

Health Guideline 0.06 ppb

The health guideline of 0.06 ppb for tetrachloroethylene 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) 5 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 tetrachloroethylene in drinking water

UTILITIES REPORTING ABOVE HEALTH GUIDELINES UTILITIES WITH CONTAMINATION
State UtilitiesPeople Served UtilitiesPeople Served
California934,753,2751049,347,496
Texas12,46051,682,520
Pennsylvania531,485,301551,495,246
New York14624,73218855,732
Massachusetts31594,02731594,027
Florida15534,30515534,305
Arizona5493,5095493,509
Wisconsin29490,63929490,639
Alabama16350,09316350,093
Delaware238,9015349,167
Nevada4329,1224329,122
New Jersey10180,71911242,419
Idaho5229,8615229,861
Illinois9207,6259207,625
Connecticut7144,1647144,164
Iowa7125,5177125,517
Minnesota6119,2076119,207
Colorado9113,8609113,860
Ohio1468,2171594,836
New Mexico388,558388,558
Washington675,018675,018
Tennessee463,430463,430
Utah355,700355,700
Kentucky849,372849,372
Oregon849,082849,082
Missouri1145,6901145,690
Kansas433,247433,247
Maryland530,790530,790
Georgia1027,1271027,127
Hawaii225,393225,393
North Carolina1224,3381224,338
Oklahoma222,728222,728
Arkansas621,938621,938
Louisiana119,686119,686
West Virginia619,366619,366
Indiana118,369118,369
Virginia417,005417,005
Mississippi112,513112,513
South Carolina33,45233,452
Wyoming14001400
New Hampshire53695369
Rhode Island13531353
Montana12901290
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Utilities with the highest amounts of tetrachloroethylene, 2015

ALL UTILITIES
LARGE UTILITIES
UtilityLocationTestsAverage levelPeople served
City Of Industry Waterworks Systems*La Puente, CA15 of 157.15 ppb7,000
City of CeresCeres, CA1 of 14.60 ppb42,666
Pawc HomesiteWilkes-barre, PA7 of 74.27 ppb55
Gosnold Water DepartmentGosnold, MA3 of 64.19 ppb425
Cdcr-high Desert State PrisonSusanville, CA25 of 283.93 ppb9,132
Holmen WaterworksHolmen, WI4 of 43.74 ppb9,000
Friendship Distribution SystemFriendship, TN2 of 23.70 ppb923
Amarillo Mutual Water CompanyRosemead, CA8 of 83.56 ppb3,134
Lynwood Park Mutual Water CompanyCompton, CA16 of 163.52 ppb2,300
Horsham Air Guard StationHorsham, PA23 of 243.34 ppb6,000
Quarryville Borough*Quarryville, PA4 of 43.28 ppb3,150
City of South PasadenaSouth Pasadena, CA97 of 973.18 ppb25,899
Beverly Village Public Water SystemBeverly, OH3 of 53.15 ppb1,900
Acorn Mobile VillageEl Dorado, CA2 of 23.10 ppb100
Commerce-city, Water DepartmentSan Jose, CA13 of 433.07 ppb3,828
Sioux Rapids Water DepartmentStorm Lake, IA5 of 53.06 ppb775
South Gate Water DepartmentSouth Gate, CA48 of 542.94 ppb96,057
Lakeside Mobile Home ParkMerrick, PA7 of 72.86 ppb40
West Grove Borough*West Grove, PA1 of 12.80 ppb2,873
Riverbelle Properties LLC Mobile Home ParkReno, NV1 of 22.75 ppb150
Hillview Water Company-oakhurst/sierra Lakes*Oakhurst, CA12 of 132.54 ppb2,805
Mobile Village Inc.Battle Ground, OR1 of 12.41 ppb100
Canisteo VillageCanisteo, NY1 of 12.40 ppb2,336
Lynwood Water DepartmentLynwood, CA21 of 242.39 ppb71,297
Rowley Water DepartmentRowley, MA2 of 22.35 ppb6,064
Security Mobile Home ParkColorado Springs, CO4 of 42.33 ppb150
Wright-Patterson AFB Area A PWSWright Patterson Afb, OH8 of 302.24 ppb16,551
Valley Water Systems, Inc.Plainville, CT8 of 162.20 ppb18,231
Medfield Water DepartmentMedfield, MA20 of 312.16 ppb12,273
Lake View Water SupplyLake View, IA2 of 22.10 ppb1,147

* 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 Tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene), but it likely has the contaminant in its water supply.

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UtilityLocationTestsAverage levelPeople served
City of CeresCeres, CA1 of 14.60 ppb42,666
City of South PasadenaSouth Pasadena, CA97 of 973.18 ppb25,899
South Gate Water DepartmentSouth Gate, CA48 of 542.94 ppb96,057
Lynwood Water DepartmentLynwood, CA21 of 242.39 ppb71,297
Wright-Patterson AFB Area A PWSWright Patterson Afb, OH8 of 302.24 ppb16,551
Valley Water Systems, Inc.Plainville, CT8 of 162.20 ppb18,231
Medfield Water DepartmentMedfield, MA20 of 312.16 ppb12,273
Sylacauga Utilities Board*Sylacauga, AL4 of 61.89 ppb22,605
East Pasadena Water CompanyPasadena, CA77 of 1301.77 ppb10,978
California Institution For Men*Chino, CA158 of 2201.77 ppb10,667
Lehigh County Authority Allentown Division*Allentown, PA3 of 31.73 ppb106,000
Tract 180 Mutual Water CompanyCudahy, CA7 of 71.57 ppb14,000
Forrest City Waterworks*Forrest City, AR4 of 81.53 ppb15,220
Mayfield Electric & Water*Mayfield, KY1 of 11.50 ppb10,024
Peabody Water DepartmentPeabody, MA1 of 41.39 ppb51,624
Emmaus Borough Public Water*Emmaus, PA5 of 201.32 ppb14,000
City of Garden City*Garden City, KS1 of 11.30 ppb27,004
Jacksonville UtilitiesJacksonville, AL1 of 11.30 ppb13,884
Pico WDPico Rivera, CA4 of 71.30 ppb24,100
North Salt Lake City Water SystemCenterville, UT10 of 111.30 ppb16,300
City of PortervillePorterville, CA16 of 201.28 ppb55,107
Brookwood Comm. Water System*Fayetteville, NC4 of 51.26 ppb15,665
Midvale City Water SystemWest Valley, UT4 of 101.25 ppb31,000
Cal/Am Water Company - San Marino*Rosemead, CA74 of 1431.23 ppb40,804
California Water Service - LivermoreLivermore, CA22 of 561.20 ppb56,700
Carmichael Water DistrictCarmichael, CA11 of 171.20 ppb40,000
San Gabriel County WD*Rosemead, CA15 of 171.17 ppb45,000
El Monte Water DepartmentEl Monte, CA13 of 231.17 ppb22,968
Huntsville Utilities*Huntsville, AL9 of 161.16 ppb219,168
Pomona Water Department*Pomona, CA99 of 1871.14 ppb151,713

* 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 Tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene), but it likely has the contaminant in its water supply.

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