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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE

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Vinyl chloride

Penn State Univ.

Vinyl chloride is a known human carcinogen used for production of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastics. Discharges from plastics manufacturing can contaminate drinking water with vinyl chloride. Read More.

Exposure to vinyl chloride increases the risk of cancer and can damage the liver and nervous system. The California public health goal of 0.05 parts per billion, set to protect against cancer, is 40 times lower than the amount allowed by the federal government, which is a Maximum Contaminant Level of 2 parts per billion.

Plastic pipes made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and chlorinated PVC (CPVC) are widely used for drinking water distribution lines and internal plumbing, raising concern about vinyl chloride contamination of drinking water. A study published in 2011 by Ryan Walter of Cornell University School of Civil and Environmental Engineering suggested that small amounts of vinyl chloride can leach from PVC pipes. Vinyl chloride can also form in the pipes as a result of water disinfection with chlorine.

In an assessment completed in 2000, California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment stated that drinking water is not a significant source of exposure to vinyl chloride for the general population.

Click here to read more about carcinogenic VOCs.

 

110

Samples

0

Samples exceeding legal limit (MCL)

0

Samples exceeding
health guidelines

Testing results - average by year

 
YearAverage resultSamples takenDetectionsRange of results
2012N/A00N/A
2013ND50ND
2014ND140ND
2015ND350ND
2016ND270ND
2017ND290ND

ppb = parts per billion

State and national drinking water standards and health guidelines

EWG Health Guideline 0.05 ppb

The EWG Health Guideline of 0.05 ppb for vinyl chloride 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) 2 ppb

The legal limit for vinyl chloride, established in 1987, was based on analytical detection limits at the time that the standard was set. This limit may not fully protect against the risk of cancer due to vinyl chloride exposure.

ppb = parts per billion

All test results

Date Lab ID Result
2013-11-193K19048-06ND
2013-11-193K19040-06ND
2013-12-123L12046-07ND
2013-12-123L12104-06ND
2013-12-123L12046-06ND
2014-01-234A23025-07ND
2014-01-234A23033-06ND
2014-01-234A23025-06ND
2014-02-204B20042-07ND
2014-02-204B20041-07ND
2014-02-204B20042-06ND
2014-03-114C11016-07ND
2014-03-114C11027-07ND
2014-03-114C11016-06ND
2014-04-094D09031-01ND
2014-04-094D09036-01ND
2014-04-094D09037-01ND
2014-06-114F11107-05ND
2014-06-114F11107-04ND
2015-01-2113561229ND
2015-01-2113561266ND
2015-01-2113561230ND
2015-02-1713561313ND
2015-02-1713561287ND
2015-02-1713561314ND
2015-03-1713561355ND
2015-03-1713561356ND
2015-03-1813561392ND
2015-04-2813561419ND
2015-04-2813561418ND
2015-05-2013561481ND
2015-05-2013561455ND
2015-05-2013561482ND
2015-06-1713561544ND
2015-06-1713561518ND
2015-06-1713561545ND
2015-07-1413561586ND
2015-07-1413561623ND
2015-07-1413561587ND
2015-08-1213561671ND
2015-08-1213561644ND
2015-08-1213561670ND
2015-09-1613561733ND
2015-09-1613561707ND
2015-09-1613561734ND
2015-10-1513561775ND
2015-10-1513561812ND
2015-10-1513561776ND
2015-11-1113561179ND
2015-11-1113561155ND
2015-11-1113561203ND
2015-12-1013681468ND
2015-12-1013681508ND
2015-12-1013681469ND
2016-01-2613801547ND
2016-01-2613801499ND
2016-01-2613801523ND
2016-02-2313917093ND
2016-02-2313917061ND
2016-02-2313917094ND
2016-03-1614032220ND
2016-03-1614032197ND
2016-03-1614032174ND
2016-04-2014163579ND
2016-04-2014163547ND
2016-04-2014163580ND
2016-05-1814312887ND
2016-05-1814312927ND
2016-05-1814312888ND
2016-06-2114471212ND
2016-06-2114471253ND
2016-06-2114471213ND
2016-07-1914636454ND
2016-07-1914636420ND
2016-07-1914636455ND
2016-08-2314804527ND
2016-08-2314804477ND
2016-08-2314804502ND
2016-09-2814975870ND
2016-09-2814975911ND
2016-09-2814975871ND
2017-01-1715573226ND
2017-01-1715573227ND
2017-01-1815573192ND
2017-02-2315709639ND
2017-02-2315709640ND
2017-03-1315850530ND
2017-03-2315850697ND
2017-03-2815850825ND
2017-04-1816001569ND
2017-04-1816001570ND
2017-06-2816321141ND
2017-07-1216473284ND
2017-07-1216473337ND
2017-07-1216473338ND
2017-07-1216473339ND
2017-07-1216473340ND
2017-07-1216473341ND
2017-07-1216473342ND
2017-08-0316629359ND
2017-09-2016787330ND
2017-10-3116937422ND
2017-11-2617077254ND
2017-11-2617077255ND
2017-11-2617077256ND
2017-11-2617077257ND
2017-11-2617077258ND
2017-11-2617077259ND
2017-11-3017077361ND
2017-12-1917217469ND