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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE

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Vinyl chloride

California Water Service Co-leona Valley

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.

 

43

Samples

0

Samples exceeding legal limit (MCL)

0

Samples exceeding
health guidelines

Testing results - average by year

 
YearAverage resultSamples takenDetectionsRange of results
2012ND100ND
2013ND90ND
2014ND100ND
2015ND60ND
2016ND40ND
2017ND40ND

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
2012-01-245701-008-1250ND
2012-02-285701-006-1415ND
2012-02-285701-001-1410ND
2012-05-235701-006-1230ND
2012-05-235701-001-1215ND
2012-08-155701-006-1144ND
2012-08-155701-001-1136ND
2012-08-155701-008-1128ND
2012-11-195701-006-1210ND
2012-11-195701-001-1217ND
2013-01-225701-008-1135ND
2013-02-125701-006-1115ND
2013-02-125701-001-1100ND
2013-05-215701-001-1447ND
2013-08-265701-008-1202ND
2013-08-265701-006-1213ND
2013-08-265701-001-1220ND
2013-11-195701-006-1056ND
2013-11-195701-001-1045ND
2014-01-215701-008-1129ND
2014-02-185701-001-1113ND
2014-02-185701-006-1123ND
2014-05-275701-001-1212ND
2014-05-275701-006-1215ND
2014-08-255701-006-1055ND
2014-08-255701-008-1025ND
2014-08-255701-001-1040ND
2014-11-185701-001-1124ND
2014-11-185701-006-1130ND
2015-01-205701-008-1108ND
2015-02-175701-001-1116ND
2015-02-175701-006-1128ND
2015-05-195701-006-1021ND
2015-05-195701-001-1028ND
2015-08-185701-008-1055ND
2016-01-195701-008-1500ND
2016-05-245701-006-1238ND
2016-05-245701-001-1244ND
2016-08-039590-008-1045ND
2017-01-245701-008-1506ND
2017-05-025701-006-1241ND
2017-05-025701-001-1245ND
2017-08-225701-008-1525ND