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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2021 UPDATE

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Styrene

Borough of Atglen

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.

 

12

Samples

0

Samples exceeding legal limit (MCL)

0

Samples exceeding
health guidelines

Testing results - average by year

 
YearAverage resultSamples takenDetectionsRange of results
2014ND50ND
2015ND10ND
2016ND10ND
2017ND30ND
2018ND10ND
2019ND10ND

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
2014-03-191077387001ND
2014-06-232014203001ND
2014-07-292021224001ND
2014-09-152029178001ND
2014-12-082044696001ND
2015-06-2212876747ND
2016-11-2215221181ND
2017-04-1115930772ND
2017-05-0216088400ND
2017-12-1917156522ND
2018-05-018041270-01ND
2019-04-099041375-01ND