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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE

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Styrene

Philadelphia Water Department

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.

 

78

Samples

0

Samples exceeding legal limit (MCL)

0

Samples exceeding
health guidelines

Testing results - average by year

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

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
2012-02-08DW120208-001ND
2012-02-08DW120208-003ND
2012-02-08DW120208-000ND
2012-05-09DW120509-003ND
2012-05-09DW120509-000ND
2012-05-09DW120509-001ND
2012-08-15DW120815-003ND
2012-08-15DW120815-001ND
2012-08-15DW120815-000ND
2012-11-14DW121114-001ND
2012-11-14DW121114-003ND
2012-11-14DW121114-000ND
2013-02-13DW130213-000ND
2013-02-13DW130213-003ND
2013-02-13DW130213-001ND
2013-05-08DW130508-001ND
2013-05-08DW130508-003ND
2013-05-08DW130508-000ND
2013-08-14DW130814-003ND
2013-08-14DW130814-001ND
2013-08-14DW130814-000ND
2013-12-117311719ND
2013-12-117311718ND
2013-12-117311717ND
2014-02-12DW140212-000ND
2014-02-12DW140212-001ND
2014-02-12DW140212-003ND
2014-05-147468948ND
2014-05-147463348ND
2014-05-147463349ND
2014-05-147468949ND
2014-05-147463350ND
2014-05-147468950ND
2014-08-137570046ND
2014-08-137570048ND
2014-08-137570047ND
2014-11-19DW141119-019ND
2014-11-19DW141119-038ND
2014-11-19DW141119-002ND
2015-02-1112406507ND
2015-02-1112406547ND
2015-02-1112406527ND
2015-05-1312754279ND
2015-05-1312754299ND
2015-05-1312754319ND
2015-08-1213140286ND
2015-08-1213140306ND
2015-08-1213140326ND
2015-11-1813518607ND
2015-11-1813518627ND
2015-11-1813518647ND
2016-02-1013874741ND
2016-02-1013874721ND
2016-02-1013874701ND
2016-05-1114257242ND
2016-05-1114257202ND
2016-05-1114257222ND
2016-08-1014741983ND
2016-08-1014742023ND
2016-08-1014742003ND
2016-11-0915231719ND
2016-11-0915231759ND
2016-11-0915231739ND
2017-02-0815661996ND
2017-02-0815662036ND
2017-02-0815662016ND
2017-05-1016100839ND
2017-05-1016101799ND
2017-05-1016101819ND
2017-05-1016100859ND
2017-05-1016101779ND
2017-05-1016100819ND
2017-08-0916572492ND
2017-08-0916572532ND
2017-08-0916572512ND
2017-11-0817029226ND
2017-11-0817029206ND
2017-11-0817029186ND