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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE

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Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)

California Water Service (CWS) - Salinas

PCBs are synthetic chemicals banned in the U.S. since the 1970s because of their toxicity. PCBs contaminate water by leaching from landfills and hazardous waste clean-up sites. PCBs increase the risk of cancer. Read More.

Up until the late 1970s, PCBs were used widely as coolants and lubricants in transformers, capacitors and other electrical equipment. Currently, PCBs are widely detected in the general population. They build up and are stored in fatty tissues and fluids such as breast milk, and can be passed on to fetuses and infants during pregnancy and breast-feeding. In human epidemiological studies, PCBs have been associated with an elevated risk of breast and prostate cancers. Infants and children with higher PCB exposures during development score lower on measures of neurological function, ranging from decreased IQ scores to reduced hearing sensitivity. PCBs also affect hormones and damage the immune system.

 

71

Samples

0

Samples exceeding legal limit (MCL)

0

Samples exceeding
health guidelines

Testing results - average by year

 
YearAverage resultSamples takenDetectionsRange of results
2012ND200ND
2013ND200ND
2014ND170ND
2015ND80ND
2016ND10ND
2017ND50ND

ppb = parts per billion

State and national drinking water standards and health guidelines

EWG Health Guideline 0.09 ppb

The EWG Health Guideline of 0.09 ppb for PCBs 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) 0.5 ppb

The legal limit for PCBs, established in 1991, 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 PCB exposure.

ppb = parts per billion

All test results

Date Lab ID Result
2012-02-019590-106-1001ND
2012-02-019590-103-1121ND
2012-02-019590-123-1325ND
2012-02-029590-102-1143ND
2012-02-229590-046-1012ND
2012-05-039590-106-1153ND
2012-05-109590-103-1105ND
2012-05-229590-123-1202ND
2012-05-229590-102-1118ND
2012-05-249590-046-1432ND
2012-08-169590-103-1421ND
2012-08-169590-102-0943ND
2012-08-239590-123-1144ND
2012-08-239590-046-1120ND
2012-08-309590-106-1304ND
2012-11-149590-102-1119ND
2012-11-149590-103-0953ND
2012-11-159590-106-1305ND
2012-11-159590-046-1115ND
2012-11-199590-123-1023ND
2013-02-209590-103-1411ND
2013-02-219590-102-1008ND
2013-02-219590-046-1152ND
2013-02-279590-123-1146ND
2013-02-279590-106-1254ND
2013-05-029590-106-1019ND
2013-05-099590-102-1256ND
2013-05-149590-123-1601ND
2013-05-149590-103-1311ND
2013-05-309590-046-1136ND
2013-08-079590-106-1213ND
2013-08-079590-123-1023ND
2013-08-089590-102-1304ND
2013-08-089590-103-1026ND
2013-08-229590-046-1017ND
2013-11-069590-106-1543ND
2013-11-079590-102-1306ND
2013-11-079590-103-1343ND
2013-11-149590-046-1152ND
2013-11-149590-123-1337ND
2014-02-059590-046-1402ND
2014-02-129590-123-0934ND
2014-02-129590-103-1355ND
2014-02-129590-102-1320ND
2014-02-199590-106-1142ND
2014-05-079590-102-1424ND
2014-05-079590-103-1450ND
2014-05-139590-123-1031ND
2014-05-159590-046-1112ND
2014-08-049590-123-0938ND
2014-08-049590-102-0909ND
2014-08-049590-103-1411ND
2014-08-049590-046-1046ND
2014-11-129590-123-1407ND
2014-11-129590-102-1028ND
2014-11-129590-103-0951ND
2014-11-199590-046-1455ND
2015-02-079590-102-1105ND
2015-02-079590-103-1045ND
2015-02-079590-123-1139ND
2015-02-259590-046-1416ND
2015-05-149590-103-1505ND
2015-05-149590-102-1555ND
2015-05-149590-123-1436ND
2015-05-199590-046-1400ND
2016-12-299590-008-1413ND
2017-01-199590-014-1048ND
2017-03-029590-132-1100ND
2017-04-059590-005-1428ND
2017-11-219590-131-1240ND
2017-12-149590-132-1456ND