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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 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.

 

14

Samples

0

Samples exceeding legal limit (MCL)

0

Samples exceeding
health guidelines

Testing results - average by year

 
YearAverage resultSamples takenDetectionsRange of results
2012ND20ND
2013ND30ND
2014ND30ND
2015ND10ND
2016ND30ND
2017ND20ND

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
2012-04-24AB87952ND
2012-04-24AB87954ND
2013-02-071302273014ND
2013-02-071302273010ND
2013-02-071302273012ND
2014-05-01Q1414182010ND
2014-05-01Q1414182001ND
2014-05-01Q1414182008ND
2015-06-18Q1522930001ND
2016-02-10Q1606030002ND
2016-09-07Q1636054004ND
2016-10-31Q1646398003ND
2017-02-09Q1705885002ND
2017-04-19Q1716169002ND