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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE

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Tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene)

Pennsylvania American Royersford

Dry cleaning chemical tetrachloroethylene, or perc, can cause cancer. It pollutes soil and groundwater due to emissions from dry cleaning facilities, and automotive, metalworking and other industries. Read More.

The EPA considers tetrachloroethylene a likely human carcinogen. It has been linked with increased incidence of lung, breast and colon cancers. Tetrachloroethylene also damages the liver, kidneys and central nervous system. The California public health goal of 0.06 parts per billion, set to protect against cancer, is 80 times lower than the amount allowed by the federal government, which is a Maximum Contaminant Level of 5 parts per billion.

Click here to read more about carcinogenic VOCs.

 

32

Samples

0

Samples exceeding legal limit (MCL)

2

Samples exceeding
health guidelines

Testing results - average by year

 
YearAverage resultSamples takenDetectionsRange of results
20120.250 ppb21ND - 0.500 ppb
20130.300 ppb21ND - 0.600 ppb
2014ND90ND
2015ND100ND
2016ND40ND
2017ND50ND

ppb = parts per billion

State and national drinking water standards and health guidelines

EWG Health Guideline 0.06 ppb

The EWG Health Guideline of 0.06 ppb for tetrachloroethylene 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) 5 ppb

The legal limit for tetrachloroethylene, established in 1991, was based on analytical detection limits at the time that the standard was set. This limit does not fully protect against the risk of cancer due to tetrachloroethylene exposure.

ppb = parts per billion

All test results

Date Lab ID Result
2012-02-0816353301ND
2012-02-08163539010.500 ppb
2013-04-2321984601ND
2013-04-23219847010.600 ppb
2014-04-0225340001ND
2014-04-0225341501ND
2014-04-0325340301ND
2014-04-0325340801ND
2014-06-2525340501ND
2014-08-0626818001ND
2014-08-0626818101ND
2014-10-0627104001ND
2014-10-0627103901ND
2015-01-0812283043ND
2015-01-0812283022ND
2015-04-0912628863ND
2015-04-0912628884ND
2015-04-0912628928ND
2015-04-0912628905ND
2015-07-1313008744ND
2015-09-1613260270ND
2015-10-0613385331ND
2015-10-0613385310ND
2016-04-0514097867ND
2016-04-0514097825ND
2016-04-0514097890ND
2016-04-0514097846ND
2017-04-1115931635ND
2017-04-1115931572ND
2017-04-1115931658ND
2017-04-1115931593ND
2017-04-1115931614ND