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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE

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Uranium

City of Santa Barbara Water Department

Uranium is a known human carcinogen. The federal legal limit for uranium is set at 30 micrograms per liter (corresponding to parts per billion), but utilities can also report uranium in picocuries per liter (pCi/L), which is a measure of radioactivity in water. EWG translated all uranium results to pCi/L using a conversion factor developed by the EPA. With this conversion approach, the limit of 30 ppb corresponds to 20 pCi/L. Drinking water with this much uranium would cause more than 4.6 cancer cases in a population of 100,000. California set a public health goal for uranium of 0.43 pCi/L. Read More.

Multiple forms of uranium can be detected in water, including uranium-234, uranium-235 and uranium-238. Uranium-234 is the most toxic form of uranium for human health.

 

15

Samples

0

Samples exceeding legal limit (MCL)

4

Samples exceeding
health guidelines

Testing results - average by year

 
YearAverage resultSamples takenDetectionsRange of results
20121.97 pCi/L73ND - 5.40 pCi/L
2013ND30ND
20140.33 pCi/L31ND - 1.00 pCi/L
2015ND10ND
2016N/A00N/A
2017ND10ND

pCi/L = picocuries per liter

State and national drinking water standards and health guidelines

EWG Health Guideline 0.43 pCi/L

The EWG Health Guideline of 0.43 pCi/L for uranium 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. Three most common uranium isotopes are U-234, U-235 and U-238. All isotopes of uranium are radioactive, and the total radioactivity depends on the ratio of isotopes. This health guideline protects against cancer.

EPA Maximum Contaminant
Level (MCL) 20 pCi/L

pCi/L = picocuries per liter

All test results

Date Lab ID Result
2012-07-179590-004-1056ND
2012-07-189590-042-12033.20 pCi/L
2012-07-189590-005-0923ND
2012-07-189590-015-1031ND
2012-07-189590-015-1053ND
2012-12-119590-035-11085.20 pCi/L
2012-12-119590-035-10185.40 pCi/L
2013-04-299590-053-0947ND
2013-08-189590-031-1605ND
2013-12-039590-031-0856ND
2014-02-279590-031-1255ND
2014-06-119590-031-1129ND
2014-10-229590-004-10141.00 pCi/L
2015-05-129590-055-0842ND
2017-05-189590-058-1734ND