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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE

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Vinyl chloride

City of Sugar Land

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.

 

47

Samples

0

Samples exceeding legal limit (MCL)

0

Samples exceeding
health guidelines

Testing results - average by year

 
YearAverage resultSamples takenDetectionsRange of results
2012ND10ND
2013ND220ND
2014ND30ND
2015ND70ND
2016ND80ND
2017ND60ND

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
2012-08-23AB99562ND
2013-01-24AC08651ND
2013-04-24AC17664ND
2013-04-24AC17665ND
2013-04-24AC17663ND
2013-04-24AC17666ND
2013-07-15AC24585ND
2013-07-15AC24589ND
2013-07-15AC24591ND
2013-07-15AC24590ND
2013-07-15AC24594ND
2013-07-15AC24593ND
2013-07-15AC24592ND
2013-07-15AC24595ND
2013-11-08AC34713ND
2013-11-08AC34709ND
2013-11-08AC34711ND
2013-11-08AC34710ND
2013-11-08AC34715ND
2013-11-08AC34712ND
2013-11-08AC34708ND
2013-11-08AC34714ND
2013-12-03AC36506ND
2014-02-11AC42218ND
2014-04-29AC52055ND
2014-07-23AC60702ND
2015-01-22AC77367ND
2015-04-01AC86976ND
2015-04-01AC86982ND
2015-04-01AC86978ND
2015-04-01AC86980ND
2015-04-01AC86974ND
2015-04-01AC86970ND
2016-02-02AD21466ND
2016-02-02AD21462ND
2016-02-02AD21458ND
2016-02-02AD21464ND
2016-02-02AD21456ND
2016-02-02AD21460ND
2016-09-01AD47688ND
2016-10-05AD52573ND
2017-01-04AD62987ND
2017-03-22AD76321ND
2017-03-22AD76341ND
2017-03-22AD76323ND
2017-03-22AD76345ND
2017-04-03AD78053ND