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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2021 UPDATE

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Vinyl chloride

Zone 7 Water Agency

Vinyl chloride is a known human carcinogen used for production of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastics. Discharges from plastics manufacturing can contaminate drinking water with vinyl chloride. Read More.

Exposure to vinyl chloride increases the risk of cancer and can damage the liver and nervous system. The California public health goal of 0.05 parts per billion, set to protect against cancer, is 40 times lower than the amount allowed by the federal government, which is a Maximum Contaminant Level of 2 parts per billion.

Plastic pipes made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and chlorinated PVC (CPVC) are widely used for drinking water distribution lines and internal plumbing, raising concern about vinyl chloride contamination of drinking water. A study published in 2011 by Ryan Walter of Cornell University School of Civil and Environmental Engineering suggested that small amounts of vinyl chloride can leach from PVC pipes. Vinyl chloride can also form in the pipes as a result of water disinfection with chlorine.

In an assessment completed in 2000, California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment stated that drinking water is not a significant source of exposure to vinyl chloride for the general population.

Click here to read more about carcinogenic VOCs.

 

98

Samples

0

Samples exceeding legal limit (MCL)

0

Samples exceeding
health guidelines

Testing results - average by year

 
YearAverage resultSamples takenDetectionsRange of results
2014ND190ND
2015ND100ND
2016ND80ND
2017ND100ND
2018ND150ND
2019ND360ND

ppb = parts per billion

State and national drinking water standards and health guidelines

EWG Health Guideline 0.05 ppb

The EWG Health Guideline of 0.05 ppb for vinyl chloride 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) 2 ppb

The legal limit for vinyl chloride, established in 1987, 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 vinyl chloride exposure.

ppb = parts per billion

All test results

Date Lab ID Result
2014-03-245100-001-1000ND
2014-03-245100-008-1045ND
2014-06-095100-001-1000ND
2014-06-105100-005-1000ND
2014-06-105100-011-1040ND
2014-06-115100-013-0930ND
2014-06-115100-006-0825ND
2014-06-165100-007-0910ND
2014-06-175100-012-1125ND
2014-06-195100-019-0935ND
2014-09-085100-001-0840ND
2014-09-085100-006-1150ND
2014-09-085100-008-1043ND
2014-09-095100-007-0930ND
2014-09-105100-011-0800ND
2014-09-105100-005-0830ND
2014-11-139590-017-0905ND
2014-12-085100-008-1045ND
2014-12-085100-001-0905ND
2015-03-039590-017-0825ND
2015-06-225100-008-0845ND
2015-06-225100-001-1100ND
2015-06-245100-019-0845ND
2015-06-255100-017-0955ND
2015-06-265100-007-0930ND
2015-06-265100-005-0905ND
2015-09-085100-008-1030ND
2015-09-085100-001-0930ND
2015-09-105100-017-0910ND
2016-07-115100-008-1010ND
2016-07-115100-001-0920ND
2016-07-115100-007-1220ND
2016-07-135100-019-0920ND
2016-07-135100-017-1035ND
2016-10-105100-001-0915ND
2016-10-105100-008-0930ND
2016-10-135100-012-1400ND
2017-04-105100-001-0910ND
2017-04-125100-017-1110ND
2017-07-105100-007-1010ND
2017-07-105100-019-1135ND
2017-07-115100-008-0955ND
2017-07-115100-017-1210ND
2017-07-115100-001-0935ND
2017-07-125100-012-0900ND
2017-07-135100-013-0915ND
2017-07-311610-020-1040ND
2018-04-095100-008-1020ND
2018-04-095100-017-1035ND
2018-04-095100-001-1137ND
2018-04-105100-005-1240ND
2018-04-105100-019-0925ND
2018-04-105100-011-1215ND
2018-04-115100-013-0940ND
2018-04-115100-012-1040ND
2018-04-115100-006-1110ND
2018-10-085100-019-1140ND
2018-10-085100-001-0825ND
2018-10-085100-008-0955ND
2018-10-085100-012-1200ND
2018-10-095100-017-0900ND
2018-10-105100-007-1435ND
2019-01-075100-012-1100ND
2019-01-075100-020-1150ND
2019-01-075100-008-1017ND
2019-01-075100-017-1025ND
2019-01-075100-005-1215ND
2019-01-085100-007-0910ND
2019-01-085100-019-0940ND
2019-01-085100-011-1015ND
2019-04-085100-017-0916ND
2019-04-085100-007-1130ND
2019-04-085100-008-0925ND
2019-04-095100-013-0955ND
2019-04-095100-012-0935ND
2019-04-095100-019-1040ND
2019-04-095100-006-0920ND
2019-07-085100-005-1015ND
2019-07-085100-011-0945ND
2019-07-085100-020-1130ND
2019-07-085100-013-1015ND
2019-07-085100-007-0950ND
2019-07-095100-006-1145ND
2019-07-095100-019-1045ND
2019-07-095100-017-0925ND
2019-07-105100-001-1010ND
2019-07-105100-008-1115ND
2019-10-075100-001-1325ND
2019-10-075100-007-0830ND
2019-10-075100-005-1150ND
2019-10-075100-006-0900ND
2019-10-075100-020-0920ND
2019-10-075100-013-0945ND
2019-10-075100-012-1015ND
2019-10-075100-011-1050ND
2019-10-075100-008-1210ND
2019-10-085100-019-1015ND
2019-10-085100-017-0830ND