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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE

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Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)

City of Phoenix

PCBs are synthetic chemicals banned in the U.S. since the 1970s because of their toxicity. PCBs contaminate water by leaching from landfills and hazardous waste clean-up sites. PCBs increase the risk of cancer. Read More.

Up until the late 1970s, PCBs were used widely as coolants and lubricants in transformers, capacitors and other electrical equipment. Currently, PCBs are widely detected in the general population. They build up and are stored in fatty tissues and fluids such as breast milk, and can be passed on to fetuses and infants during pregnancy and breast-feeding. In human epidemiological studies, PCBs have been associated with an elevated risk of breast and prostate cancers. Infants and children with higher PCB exposures during development score lower on measures of neurological function, ranging from decreased IQ scores to reduced hearing sensitivity. PCBs also affect hormones and damage the immune system.

 

83

Samples

0

Samples exceeding legal limit (MCL)

0

Samples exceeding
health guidelines

Testing results - average by year

 
YearAverage resultSamples takenDetectionsRange of results
2012ND40ND
2013ND80ND
2014ND220ND
2015ND30ND
2016ND20ND
2017ND440ND

ppb = parts per billion

State and national drinking water standards and health guidelines

EWG Health Guideline 0.09 ppb

The EWG Health Guideline of 0.09 ppb for PCBs 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) 0.5 ppb

The legal limit for PCBs, established in 1991, 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 PCB exposure.

ppb = parts per billion

All test results

Date Lab ID Result
2012-01-03201201030159PND
2012-01-10201201110315PND
2012-01-25201201250413PND
2012-11-07201211070496PND
2013-02-15201302150476PND
2013-02-15201302150469PND
2013-04-16201304160125PND
2013-04-16201304160135PND
2013-07-17201307170558PND
2013-07-23201307230516PND
2013-10-21201310210141PND
2013-10-24201310240749PND
2014-01-064010287-01SND
2014-01-08201401080632PND
2014-01-15201401150537PND
2014-01-15201401170162PND
2014-01-16201401160568PND
2014-01-16201401170153PND
2014-01-21201401210419PND
2014-01-21201401210437PND
2014-02-18201402180229PND
2014-02-19201402190362PND
2014-02-26201402260762PND
2014-04-07201404080428PND
2014-07-01201407010326PND
2014-07-01201407010385PND
2014-07-02201407020640PND
2014-07-08201407090997PND
2014-07-09201407090990PND
2014-07-15201407150420PND
2014-07-16201407160711PND
2014-07-22201407220312PND
2014-07-23201407230689PND
2014-07-23201407230696PND
2015-02-03201502030363PND
2015-07-08201507090340PND
2015-10-06201510060432PND
2016-01-05201601060237PND
2016-07-05201607050432PND
2017-01-04201701050475PND
2017-01-04201701050450PND
2017-01-04201701050396PND
2017-01-04201701040662PND
2017-01-04201701050376PND
2017-01-05201701050485PND
2017-01-10201701100450PND
2017-01-10201701100458PND
2017-01-11201701120603PND
2017-01-11201701120610PND
2017-01-17201701180214PND
2017-01-17201701180221PND
2017-01-18201701180237PND
2017-01-18201701180349PND
2017-01-25201701250388PND
2017-01-25201701250401PND
2017-02-01201702010374PND
2017-02-08201702080305PND
2017-02-22201702220343PND
2017-03-28201703280848PND
2017-04-27201704270389PND
2017-04-27201704270400PND
2017-07-05201707050526PND
2017-07-11201707110862PND
2017-07-11201707110868PND
2017-07-12201707130577PND
2017-07-12201707130583PND
2017-07-132017071305596PND
2017-07-13201707130590PND
2017-07-13201707130600PND
2017-07-13201707130607PND
2017-07-13201707130643PND
2017-07-18201707190868PND
2017-07-19201707190851PND
2017-07-26201707280154PND
2017-07-27201707280164PND
2017-07-27201707280177PND
2017-08-01201708020900PND
2017-08-01201708020915PND
2017-08-02201708030619PND
2017-08-02201708030625PND
2017-08-03201708030640PND
2017-10-10201710100358PND
2017-10-12201710120504PND