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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE

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Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)

Phoenixville Water Dept

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.

 

20

Samples

0

Samples exceeding legal limit (MCL)

0

Samples exceeding
health guidelines

Testing results - average by year

 
YearAverage resultSamples takenDetectionsRange of results
2012N/A00N/A
2013N/A00N/A
2014ND40ND
2015N/A00N/A
2016N/A00N/A
2017ND160ND

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
2014-02-071070870001ND
2014-05-192007608001ND
2014-08-262025632001ND
2014-11-192041090001ND
2017-05-1916087030ND
2017-05-1916087029ND
2017-05-1916087028ND
2017-05-1916087027ND
2017-05-1916087026ND
2017-05-1916087025ND
2017-05-1916087024ND
2017-05-1916087022ND
2017-09-2016720235ND
2017-09-2016720234ND
2017-09-2016720233ND
2017-09-2016720232ND
2017-09-2016720231ND
2017-09-2016720230ND
2017-09-2016720228ND
2017-09-2016720236ND