EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE


Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate

Atlantic City Municipal Utilities Authority

Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, or DEHP, is a softener added to PVC plastics. Phthalates are hormone disruptors that target the male reproductive system. Read More.

DEHP can cross the placenta and disrupt steroid hormone synthesis, and may lead to cancer. In laboratory animals, exposure to DEHP during pregnancy harms fetal developmental and causes abnormalities in the male reproductive tract. Human epidemiological studies show certain phthalates, especially DEHP, are associated with reduced anogenital distance in human male infants, which is a measure of adverse developmental effects in human male infants exposed prenatally to endocrine disrupting chemicals. DEHP may also interfere with signaling related to the timing of birth and may have adverse effects on the immune system.





Samples exceeding legal limit (MCL)


Samples exceeding
health guidelines

Testing results - average by year

YearAverage resultSamples takenDetectionsRange of results
20120.836 ppb220.111 ppb - 1.56 ppb
20130.120 ppb220.0890 ppb - 0.150 ppb
20140.148 ppb21ND - 0.295 ppb
20150.472 ppb110.472 ppb
20160.453 ppb110.453 ppb

ppb = parts per billion

State and national drinking water standards and health guidelines

EWG Health Guideline 3 ppb

The EWG Health Guideline of 3 ppb for di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate was defined by the Environmental Protection Agency as a one-in-a-million lifetime risk of cancer. Values greater than one-in-a-million cancer risk level can result in increased cancer cases above one in a million people.

EPA Maximum Contaminant
Level (MCL) 6 ppb

The legal limit for di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, established in 1992, was based on analytical detection limits at the time that the standard was set.

ppb = parts per billion

All test results

Date Lab ID Result
2012-04-26L4137883-11.56 ppb
2012-10-09L1089474-10.111 ppb
2013-01-10L4456223-30.0890 ppb
2013-01-16L4462641-15250.150 ppb
2014-03-25L4988369-6-525.20.295 ppb
2015-01-14L5409387-1-5250.472 ppb
2016-01-06L6008126-1-5250.453 ppb