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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE

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Vinyl chloride

Tifton-Tift County Water System

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.

 

36

Samples

0

Samples exceeding legal limit (MCL)

0

Samples exceeding
health guidelines

Testing results - average by year

 
YearAverage resultSamples takenDetectionsRange of results
2012ND20ND
2013ND20ND
2014ND100ND
2015ND40ND
2016ND40ND
2017ND140ND

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
2012-05-07AH58214ND
2012-06-11AH66448ND
2013-05-28AI02335ND
2013-05-28AI02334ND
2014-05-20AI40952ND
2014-09-23AI55034ND
2014-09-23AI55035ND
2014-09-23AI55036ND
2014-09-23AI55037ND
2014-09-23AI55038ND
2014-09-23AI55039ND
2014-09-23AI55040ND
2014-10-13AI57351ND
2014-10-13AI57350ND
2015-01-27AI63541ND
2015-04-20AI75195ND
2015-07-28AI84438ND
2015-10-27AI99841ND
2016-01-20AJ04718ND
2016-04-19AJ10518ND
2016-08-02AJ20688ND
2016-11-01AJ32457ND
2017-02-07AJ45891ND
2017-02-07AJ45892ND
2017-02-07AJ45893ND
2017-02-07AJ45894ND
2017-02-07AJ45895ND
2017-02-07AJ45896ND
2017-04-04AJ52604ND
2017-04-04AJ52603ND
2017-07-11AJ59836ND
2017-07-11AJ59837ND
2017-10-16AJ71845ND
2017-10-16AJ71844ND
2017-12-06AJ74967ND
2017-12-06AJ74966ND