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Styrene

Status: National drinking water standard exists

 

Styrene is a volatile cancer-causing chemical used for manufacturing Styrofoam (polystyrene) and other plastics. Releases from industrial production sites and hazardous waste landfills cause styrene contamination in drinking water. Read More.

In addition to increasing the risk of cancer, styrene can also damage the liver and the nervous system. California set a public health goal for styrene in drinking water at 0.5 parts per billion. The federal Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) allows up to 100 parts per billion of styrene in water, which is 200 times more than the California recommended level.

Click here to read more about carcinogenic VOCs.

2015:

FOUND
FOUND ABOVE HEALTH GUIDELINES

14

states detected

32

utilities detected

127,000

people served

8

states over health guideline

13

utilities over health guideline

4,692

people served over health guideline

Health concerns for styrene

Cancer

Harm to the liver

Harm to the brain and nervous system

State and national drinking water standards and health guidelines

Health Guideline 0.5 ppb

The health guideline of 0.5 ppb for styrene 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) 100 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)100 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 styrene in drinking water

UTILITIES REPORTING ABOVE HEALTH GUIDELINES UTILITIES WITH CONTAMINATION
State UtilitiesPeople Served UtilitiesPeople Served
California002101,079
New York51,2651213,487
Texas19645,604
Iowa21,97121,971
Florida0011,338
Wisconsin002658
Missouri15231523
Illinois001456
New Jersey14002427
Alaska001350
North Carolina12101210
Ohio001170
Oklahoma11701170
Pennsylvania157157
MORE
LESS

Utilities with the highest amounts of styrene, 2015

ALL UTILITIES
LARGE UTILITIES
UtilityLocationTestsAverage levelPeople served
Timberline ShoresGaston, NC4 of 43.15 ppb210
Deep Run Adult VillageDelran, NJ1 of 52.16 ppb400
Corydon Water SupplyCorydon, IA1 of 11.40 ppb1,585
Mannsville VillageMannsville, NY1 of 10.800 ppb450
Whispering Pines Mobile EstatesSaratoga Springs, NY1 of 10.800 ppb80
Churdan Water SupplyChurdan, IA1 of 10.800 ppb386
Parkerville East Mobile Home ParkLancaster, TX1 of 10.780 ppb96
Country Acres Mobile ParkRock City Falls, NY1 of 10.700 ppb125
Clearview Mobile Home ParkMoore, OK2 of 50.700 ppb170
Blue Stone Acres Mobile Home ParkStamford, NY1 of 10.600 ppb180
BloomsdaleBloomsdale, MO1 of 10.570 ppb523
New Life Youth&family ServicesSchwenksville, PA3 of 60.567 ppb57
Springwater Water DistrictSpringwater, NY1 of 20.550 ppb430
Montgomery County UD 4*Houston, TX1 of 10.500 ppb4,491
Clyde VillageClyde, NY1 of 10.500 ppb2,269
Holiday Mobile Park Inc.Wappingers Falls, NY1 of 20.500 ppb250
Club Island AssociationCelina, OH1 of 20.415 ppb170
North San Saba Water Supply CorporationSan Saba, TX1 of 30.367 ppb891
IL American-sauneminCreve Coeur, IL1 of 20.350 ppb456
Calam - Walnut GroveSacramento, CA1 of 20.350 ppb644
Woodcrest CommunityRifton, NY1 of 20.250 ppb340
Black River Village*Black River, NY1 of 30.233 ppb4,240
North Slope Borough - Anaktuvuk PassBarrow, AK1 of 40.200 ppb350
Mount Calvary WaterworksMount Calvary, WI1 of 10.190 ppb558
Hurley Water CompanyHurley, NY1 of 40.150 ppb2,483
Rock Springs Mobile Home ParkApopka, FL1 of 10.0500 ppb1,338
Shawano Co. UtilityShawano, WI1 of 40.0300 ppb100
Pine Valley Golf ClubPine Valley, NJ1 of 20.0250 ppb27
Cal-water Service Company - ChicoChico, CA1 of 1190.00706 ppb100,435

* 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 Styrene, but it likely has the contaminant in its water supply.

UtilityLocationTestsAverage levelPeople served
Cal-water Service Company - ChicoChico, CA1 of 1190.00706 ppb100,435