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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE

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Styrene

Pennsylvania American Royersford

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.

 

32

Samples

0

Samples exceeding legal limit (MCL)

0

Samples exceeding
health guidelines

Testing results - average by year

 
YearAverage resultSamples takenDetectionsRange of results
2012ND20ND
2013ND20ND
2014ND90ND
2015ND100ND
2016ND40ND
2017ND50ND

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
2012-02-0816353301ND
2012-02-0816353901ND
2013-04-2321984601ND
2013-04-2321984701ND
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
2015-01-0812283037ND
2015-01-0812283016ND
2015-04-0912628857ND
2015-04-0912628878ND
2015-04-0912628922ND
2015-04-0912628899ND
2015-07-1313008738ND
2015-09-1613260264ND
2015-10-0613385325ND
2015-10-0613385304ND
2016-04-0514097861ND
2016-04-0514097819ND
2016-04-0514097884ND
2016-04-0514097840ND
2017-04-1115931629ND
2017-04-1115931566ND
2017-04-1115931652ND
2017-04-1115931587ND
2017-04-1115931608ND