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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE

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Vinyl chloride

Pico WD

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.

 

52

Samples

0

Samples exceeding legal limit (MCL)

0

Samples exceeding
health guidelines

Testing results - average by year

 
YearAverage resultSamples takenDetectionsRange of results
2012ND140ND
2013ND80ND
2014ND80ND
2015ND70ND
2016ND80ND
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
2012-03-139588-004-0925ND
2012-03-139588-009-0950ND
2012-03-139588-006-0940ND
2012-03-149588-002-0930ND
2012-03-149588-011-0945ND
2012-05-099588-002-0945ND
2012-05-099588-011-0955ND
2012-08-179588-006-0914ND
2012-08-179588-009-0927ND
2012-08-179588-011-0858ND
2012-08-219588-004-0810ND
2012-12-129588-004-1132ND
2012-12-129588-009-0937ND
2012-12-129588-011-1019ND
2013-03-219588-009-0942ND
2013-03-219588-006-0930ND
2013-03-269588-002-1040ND
2013-03-269588-004-1140ND
2013-03-269588-011-0955ND
2013-06-269588-011-0900ND
2013-12-069588-011-1320ND
2013-12-139588-006-1015ND
2014-01-069588-011-0745ND
2014-03-209588-006-1000ND
2014-03-209588-009-1008ND
2014-03-209588-004-0936ND
2014-03-209588-002-0930ND
2014-06-209588-011-0950ND
2014-08-229588-011-1005ND
2014-10-239588-011-0940ND
2015-03-189588-004-0831ND
2015-03-189588-006-0819ND
2015-03-189588-009-0806ND
2015-03-189588-011-0755ND
2015-06-229588-011-0837ND
2015-08-269588-011-0957ND
2015-12-239588-011-0823ND
2016-02-259588-011-0800ND
2016-03-149588-009-0915ND
2016-03-239588-004-0802ND
2016-03-239588-006-0816ND
2016-05-099588-011-0828ND
2016-08-109588-011-0825ND
2016-11-309588-011-0800ND
2016-12-229588-011-0837ND
2017-02-239588-011-0840ND
2017-03-209588-009-0910ND
2017-03-209588-004-1000ND
2017-03-209588-006-0920ND
2017-05-089588-011-0815ND
2017-08-249588-011-0924ND
2017-11-229588-011-0850ND