Menu

EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE

Donate

Styrene

Grants Way

Styrene is a volatile cancer-causing chemical used for manufacturing Styrofoam (polystyrene) and other plastics. Releases from industrial production sites and hazardous waste landfills cause styrene contamination in drinking water. Read More.

In addition to increasing the risk of cancer, styrene can also damage the liver and the nervous system. California set a public health goal for styrene in drinking water at 0.5 parts per billion. The federal Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) allows up to 100 parts per billion of styrene in water, which is 200 times more than the California recommended level.

Click here to read more about carcinogenic VOCs.

 

15

Samples

0

Samples exceeding legal limit (MCL)

0

Samples exceeding
health guidelines

Testing results - average by year

 
YearAverage resultSamples takenDetectionsRange of results
2012ND40ND
2013ND10ND
2014ND40ND
2015ND40ND
2016ND10ND
2017ND10ND

ppb = parts per billion

State and national drinking water standards and health guidelines

EWG Health Guideline 0.5 ppb

The EWG Health Guideline of 0.5 ppb for styrene 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) 100 ppb

The legal limit for styrene, established in 1991, was based on a toxicity study in laboratory animals conducted in the 1970s. This limit may not fully protect against the risk of cancer due to styrene exposure.

ppb = parts per billion

All test results

Date Lab ID Result
2012-01-26S313461ND
2012-04-26S313584ND
2012-07-24S366444ND
2012-10-19S382326ND
2013-01-14S382342ND
2014-01-30S438321ND
2014-04-23S479078ND
2014-07-23L5171337-1ND
2014-10-15S257742ND
2015-01-15S504601ND
2015-04-21S580497ND
2015-08-24S612406ND
2015-10-20S614751ND
2016-04-26S602069ND
2017-04-20S614596ND