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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE

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Vinyl chloride

Montebello Land & Water Company

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.

 

37

Samples

0

Samples exceeding legal limit (MCL)

0

Samples exceeding
health guidelines

Testing results - average by year

 
YearAverage resultSamples takenDetectionsRange of results
2012ND70ND
2013ND70ND
2014ND70ND
2015ND30ND
2016ND60ND
2017ND70ND

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
2012-02-212706-001-1340ND
2012-02-212706-007-1350ND
2012-08-202706-009-1200ND
2012-08-202706-003-1130ND
2012-08-202706-008-1225ND
2012-08-202706-004-1215ND
2012-08-202706-005-1140ND
2013-02-252706-001-1000ND
2013-02-252706-007-1010ND
2013-08-122706-005-1230ND
2013-08-122706-003-1240ND
2013-08-122706-004-1220ND
2013-08-122706-008-1210ND
2013-08-122706-009-1255ND
2014-02-202706-007-1020ND
2014-02-202706-001-0955ND
2014-08-222706-004-1000ND
2014-08-222706-009-1145ND
2014-08-222706-005-1035ND
2014-08-222706-003-1015ND
2014-08-222706-008-1100ND
2015-02-192706-007-1205ND
2015-02-192706-001-1145ND
2015-11-242706-004-0950ND
2016-02-249588-007-1020ND
2016-03-119588-001-1015ND
2016-08-259588-008-0835ND
2016-08-259588-005-0820ND
2016-08-259588-003-0845ND
2016-11-229588-004-0850ND
2017-02-219588-007-0925ND
2017-02-219588-001-0900ND
2017-06-149588-009-1025ND
2017-08-309588-008-0850ND
2017-08-309588-005-0915ND
2017-08-309588-003-0905ND
2017-10-139588-004-0855ND