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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE

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Vinyl chloride

Cal-am Water Company - Duarte

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.

 

82

Samples

0

Samples exceeding legal limit (MCL)

0

Samples exceeding
health guidelines

Testing results - average by year

 
YearAverage resultSamples takenDetectionsRange of results
2012ND120ND
2013ND190ND
2014ND140ND
2015ND140ND
2016ND150ND
2017ND80ND

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
2012-03-159588-004-1045ND
2012-03-299588-019-1110ND
2012-08-081225-019-1150ND
2012-09-189588-010-1145ND
2012-09-189588-007-1310ND
2012-09-189588-008-1215ND
2012-09-189588-002-1200ND
2012-09-189588-003-1245ND
2012-09-189588-019-1325ND
2012-09-261225-019-0840ND
2012-12-049588-019-1115ND
2012-12-049588-009-1225ND
2013-02-041225-019-0905ND
2013-03-069588-004-1105ND
2013-07-311225-019-1150ND
2013-09-109588-003-1215ND
2013-09-109588-010-1420ND
2013-09-109588-007-1200ND
2013-09-109588-002-1400ND
2013-09-109588-008-1335ND
2013-09-181225-003-1010ND
2013-09-181225-007-0950ND
2013-09-181225-004-1045ND
2013-09-181225-019-0850ND
2013-09-181225-009-1025ND
2013-09-181225-010-1150ND
2013-10-091225-008-1020ND
2013-10-091225-002-1055ND
2013-12-049588-019-1000ND
2013-12-049588-009-1105ND
2013-12-181225-019-1120ND
2014-03-109588-004-1140ND
2014-06-231225-007-1040ND
2014-06-231225-008-1235ND
2014-06-231225-003-1110ND
2014-06-231225-009-1135ND
2014-06-231225-002-1300ND
2014-06-231225-010-1330ND
2014-09-039588-007-1240ND
2014-09-039588-003-1215ND
2014-09-039588-008-1120ND
2014-09-039588-002-1055ND
2014-09-039588-010-1225ND
2014-12-039588-009-1100ND
2014-12-039588-019-1020ND
2015-09-089588-002-1200ND
2015-09-089588-008-1120ND
2015-09-089588-007-1215ND
2015-09-089588-003-1140ND
2015-09-089588-010-1110ND
2015-09-281225-003-1050ND
2015-09-281225-007-1200ND
2015-09-281225-008-1330ND
2015-09-281225-009-1345ND
2015-09-281225-010-0945ND
2015-10-141225-019-0945ND
2015-10-141225-002-1205ND
2015-12-079588-009-1130ND
2015-12-079588-019-1040ND
2016-06-201225-010-1135ND
2016-06-201225-008-1145ND
2016-06-201225-019-1115ND
2016-07-201225-003-1000ND
2016-07-201225-009-1030ND
2016-07-201225-002-1110ND
2016-07-201225-007-0930ND
2016-09-079588-002-1330ND
2016-09-079588-008-1345ND
2016-09-079588-003-1305ND
2016-09-079588-007-1245ND
2016-09-079588-010-1315ND
2016-09-121225-019-0850ND
2016-12-059588-009-1135ND
2016-12-059588-019-1105ND
2017-07-251225-009-1210ND
2017-09-209588-007-1100ND
2017-09-209588-008-1125ND
2017-09-209588-002-1150ND
2017-09-209588-010-1210ND
2017-09-289588-003-0905ND
2017-12-059588-019-1000ND
2017-12-059588-009-1030ND