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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE

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Vinyl chloride

Northampton Bucks County Municipal Authority

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.

 

94

Samples

0

Samples exceeding legal limit (MCL)

0

Samples exceeding
health guidelines

Testing results - average by year

 
YearAverage resultSamples takenDetectionsRange of results
2012ND120ND
2013ND120ND
2014ND230ND
2015ND150ND
2016ND110ND
2017ND210ND

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
2012-02-28L4066896-1ND
2012-03-07L4061769-1ND
2012-05-23L4168750-1ND
2012-05-23L4168751-1ND
2012-06-06L3257952-3ND
2012-06-06L3257952-1ND
2012-06-06L3257952-2ND
2012-06-06L3257952-4ND
2012-08-16L4291049-1ND
2012-08-16L4291049-2ND
2012-11-15L4392086-2ND
2012-11-15L4392086-1ND
2013-03-05L3661861-2ND
2013-03-05L3661861-1ND
2013-05-14L2391330-1ND
2013-05-14L2286687-1ND
2013-07-02L1595500-2ND
2013-07-02L1595500-4ND
2013-07-02L1595500-1ND
2013-07-02L1595500-3ND
2013-08-08L4725530-1ND
2013-08-08L4725529-1ND
2013-11-19L4836093-1ND
2013-11-19L4836092-1ND
2014-02-25L4951918-1ND
2014-02-25L4951922-1ND
2014-05-20L4690565-1ND
2014-05-20L4799412-1ND
2014-07-17L5163463-13ND
2014-07-17L5163463-1ND
2014-07-17L5163463-2ND
2014-07-17L5163463-15ND
2014-07-17L5163463-3ND
2014-07-17L5163463-14ND
2014-07-17L5163463-4ND
2014-07-17L5163463-7ND
2014-07-17L5163463-6ND
2014-07-17L5163463-5ND
2014-07-17L5163463-12ND
2014-07-17L5163463-10ND
2014-07-17L5163463-11ND
2014-07-17L5163463-9ND
2014-07-17L5163463-8ND
2014-08-15L4359849-1ND
2014-08-15L4460454-1ND
2014-12-04L5352437-1ND
2014-12-04L5352436-1ND
2015-02-1012390483ND
2015-02-1012390429ND
2015-05-1112738431ND
2015-05-1112738485ND
2015-07-0913859320ND
2015-07-0913859374ND
2015-07-0913859428ND
2015-08-1913123827ND
2015-08-1913123881ND
2015-08-2813124402ND
2015-11-2013503421ND
2015-11-2013503367ND
2015-11-2013503583ND
2015-11-2013503529ND
2015-11-2013503475ND
2016-02-2313975156ND
2016-02-2313975103ND
2016-02-2313975050ND
2016-02-2313974997ND
2016-02-2313974944ND
2016-05-2414237904ND
2016-07-2114555715ND
2016-07-2114555767ND
2016-07-2114555663ND
2016-07-2114555611ND
2016-08-3014892507ND
2017-02-2715644171ND
2017-06-0716243960ND
2017-08-0116551819ND
2017-08-0116551767ND
2017-08-0116552079ND
2017-08-0116551871ND
2017-08-0116552027ND
2017-08-0116551975ND
2017-08-0116552131ND
2017-08-0116551923ND
2017-08-1716553053ND
2017-08-1716553105ND
2017-08-1716553001ND
2017-08-1716553157ND
2017-08-1716553261ND
2017-08-1716553209ND
2017-08-2416552921ND
2017-08-2416552817ND
2017-08-2416552765ND
2017-08-2416552713ND
2017-08-2416552869ND