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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE

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Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)

City of Surprise - Mountain Vista

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.

 

22

Samples

0

Samples exceeding legal limit (MCL)

0

Samples exceeding
health guidelines

Testing results - average by year

 
YearAverage resultSamples takenDetectionsRange of results
2012ND40ND
2013ND40ND
2014ND40ND
2015ND10ND
2016ND50ND
2017ND40ND

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
2012-01-262012012-02SND
2012-01-262012012-03SND
2012-01-262012012-04SND
2012-01-262012012-01SND
2013-01-233011767-01ND
2013-01-233011767-02ND
2013-01-233011767-03ND
2013-01-233011767-04ND
2014-01-224011817-04SND
2014-01-224011817-03SND
2014-01-224011817-02SND
2014-01-224011817-01SND
2015-01-215011694-04ND
2016-01-256012035-01TND
2016-01-256012035-02TND
2016-01-256012035-03SND
2016-01-256012035-03TND
2016-01-256012035-04TND
2017-01-307012591-01AND
2017-01-307012591-02AND
2017-01-307012591-03AND
2017-01-307012591-04AND