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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2021 UPDATE

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Styrene

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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.

 

40

Samples

0

Samples exceeding legal limit (MCL)

0

Samples exceeding
health guidelines

Testing results - average by year

 
YearAverage resultSamples takenDetectionsRange of results
2014ND80ND
2015ND80ND
2016ND80ND
2017ND80ND
2018ND40ND
2019ND40ND

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
2014-01-0824405801ND
2014-01-0824405701ND
2014-04-0225334601ND
2014-04-0225334501ND
2014-07-0926110301ND
2014-07-0926110201ND
2014-10-0127098701ND
2014-10-0127098801ND
2015-01-0712297060ND
2015-01-0712297039ND
2015-04-1512642909ND
2015-04-1512642888ND
2015-07-1513023147ND
2015-07-1513023126ND
2015-10-0613399405ND
2015-10-0613399426ND
2016-01-0513763224ND
2016-01-0513763245ND
2016-04-0514115617ND
2016-04-0514115638ND
2016-07-0114583651ND
2016-07-0114583672ND
2016-10-0515088549ND
2016-10-0515088528ND
2017-01-0515529614ND
2017-01-0515529635ND
2017-04-0515950735ND
2017-04-0515950756ND
2017-07-0716426338ND
2017-07-0716426359ND
2017-10-0516892539ND
2017-10-0516892560ND
2018-01-1038158601ND
2018-04-0439069901ND
2018-07-0340201501ND
2018-10-0441308901ND
2019-01-0942495701ND
2019-04-1043656201ND
2019-07-1645013801ND
2019-10-1046829601ND