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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE

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Tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene)

Tennessee American Water

Dry cleaning chemical tetrachloroethylene, or perc, can cause cancer. It pollutes soil and groundwater due to emissions from dry cleaning facilities, and automotive, metalworking and other industries. Read More.

The EPA considers tetrachloroethylene a likely human carcinogen. It has been linked with increased incidence of lung, breast and colon cancers. Tetrachloroethylene also damages the liver, kidneys and central nervous system. The California public health goal of 0.06 parts per billion, set to protect against cancer, is 80 times lower than the amount allowed by the federal government, which is a Maximum Contaminant Level of 5 parts per billion.

Click here to read more about carcinogenic VOCs.

 

19

Samples

0

Samples exceeding legal limit (MCL)

0

Samples exceeding
health guidelines

Testing results - average by year

 
YearAverage resultSamples takenDetectionsRange of results
2012ND30ND
2013ND20ND
2014ND30ND
2015ND30ND
2016ND40ND
2017ND40ND

ppb = parts per billion

State and national drinking water standards and health guidelines

EWG Health Guideline 0.06 ppb

The EWG Health Guideline of 0.06 ppb for tetrachloroethylene 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) 5 ppb

The legal limit for tetrachloroethylene, established in 1991, was based on analytical detection limits at the time that the standard was set. This limit does not fully protect against the risk of cancer due to tetrachloroethylene exposure.

ppb = parts per billion

All test results

Date Result
2012-02-15ND
2012-08-08ND
2012-11-15ND
2013-02-12ND
2013-05-08ND
2014-02-04ND
2014-05-14ND
2014-11-11ND
2015-04-08ND
2015-07-07ND
2015-10-06ND
2016-01-19ND
2016-04-11ND
2016-07-13ND
2016-10-13ND
2017-01-10ND
2017-04-17ND
2017-07-11ND
2017-10-09ND