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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE

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Styrene

Tennessee American Water

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.

 

20

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
2016ND50ND
2017ND40ND

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 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
2016-10-13ND
2017-01-10ND
2017-04-17ND
2017-07-11ND
2017-10-09ND