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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE

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Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)

City of Aiken

PCBs are synthetic chemicals banned in the U.S. since the 1970s because of their toxicity. PCBs contaminate water by leaching from landfills and hazardous waste clean-up sites. PCBs increase the risk of cancer. Read More.

Up until the late 1970s, PCBs were used widely as coolants and lubricants in transformers, capacitors and other electrical equipment. Currently, PCBs are widely detected in the general population. They build up and are stored in fatty tissues and fluids such as breast milk, and can be passed on to fetuses and infants during pregnancy and breast-feeding. In human epidemiological studies, PCBs have been associated with an elevated risk of breast and prostate cancers. Infants and children with higher PCB exposures during development score lower on measures of neurological function, ranging from decreased IQ scores to reduced hearing sensitivity. PCBs also affect hormones and damage the immune system.

 

17

Samples

0

Samples exceeding legal limit (MCL)

0

Samples exceeding
health guidelines

Testing results - average by year

 
YearAverage resultSamples takenDetectionsRange of results
2012ND10ND
2013ND10ND
2014ND40ND
2015ND20ND
2016ND40ND
2017ND50ND

ppb = parts per billion

State and national drinking water standards and health guidelines

EWG Health Guideline 0.09 ppb

The EWG Health Guideline of 0.09 ppb for PCBs 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) 0.5 ppb

The legal limit for PCBs, established in 1991, 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 PCB exposure.

ppb = parts per billion

All test results

Date Lab ID Result
2012-04-04AD05439ND
2013-04-24AD22837ND
2014-05-21AD40196ND
2014-05-21AD40198ND
2014-05-21AD40200ND
2014-05-21AD40209ND
2015-05-20AD55699ND
2015-11-09AD65512ND
2016-02-24AD71247ND
2016-05-04AD75324ND
2016-05-04AD75337ND
2016-08-10AD80547ND
2017-07-12AD97137ND
2017-07-12AD97139ND
2017-07-12AD97143ND
2017-07-12AD97176ND
2017-07-13AD97142ND