Menu

EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE

Donate

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)

City of Gilroy

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.

 

28

Samples

0

Samples exceeding legal limit (MCL)

0

Samples exceeding
health guidelines

Testing results - average by year

 
YearAverage resultSamples takenDetectionsRange of results
2012ND180ND
2013N/A00N/A
2014N/A00N/A
2015ND100ND
2016N/A00N/A
2017N/A00N/A

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
2012-05-215810-004-1045ND
2012-05-215810-002-1135ND
2012-05-215810-001-0850ND
2012-05-215810-006-1315ND
2012-05-225810-007-0745ND
2012-05-225810-008-0955ND
2012-05-225810-009-1035ND
2012-05-225810-010-1115ND
2012-05-225810-011-0835ND
2012-08-225810-008-1050ND
2012-08-225810-006-1325ND
2012-08-225810-009-1110ND
2012-08-225810-004-1000ND
2012-08-225810-011-1300ND
2012-08-225810-002-1025ND
2012-08-225810-001-0845ND
2012-08-235810-010-0855ND
2012-08-235810-007-0825ND
2015-05-205810-006-0945ND
2015-05-205810-007-1300ND
2015-05-205810-008-1025ND
2015-05-205810-009-1100ND
2015-05-205810-010-0810ND
2015-05-215810-011-0955ND
2015-05-215810-004-1250ND
2015-05-215810-002-1010ND
2015-05-215810-001-0800ND
2015-08-205810-011-0845ND