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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE

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Vinyl chloride

Galveston County WCID 1

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.

 

54

Samples

0

Samples exceeding legal limit (MCL)

0

Samples exceeding
health guidelines

Testing results - average by year

 
YearAverage resultSamples takenDetectionsRange of results
2012ND200ND
2013ND190ND
2014ND30ND
2015ND30ND
2016ND50ND
2017ND40ND

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
2012-02-01AB79751ND
2012-02-01AB79750ND
2012-02-01AB79749ND
2012-02-01AB79748ND
2012-04-05AB86164ND
2012-04-05AB86163ND
2012-04-05AB86174ND
2012-04-05AB86231ND
2012-06-01AB91597ND
2012-06-01AB91582ND
2012-06-01AB91583ND
2012-06-01AB91592ND
2012-08-23AB99503ND
2012-08-23AB99504ND
2012-08-23AB99501ND
2012-08-23AB99502ND
2012-11-27AC05636ND
2012-11-27AC05645ND
2012-11-27AC05637ND
2012-11-27AC05646ND
2013-02-05AC09708ND
2013-02-05AC09661ND
2013-02-05AC09658ND
2013-02-05AC09657ND
2013-02-05AC09662ND
2013-02-05AC09710ND
2013-02-05AC09706ND
2013-05-29AC20718ND
2013-05-29AC20727ND
2013-05-29AC20729ND
2013-05-29AC20717ND
2013-08-15AC27901ND
2013-08-15AC27896ND
2013-08-15AC27905ND
2013-08-15AC27898ND
2013-11-18AC35382ND
2013-11-18AC35369ND
2013-11-18AC35371ND
2013-11-18AC35384ND
2014-06-03AC55813ND
2014-06-03AC55805ND
2014-06-03AC55811ND
2015-01-15AC76456ND
2015-01-15AC76466ND
2015-01-15AC76462ND
2016-01-26AD20090ND
2016-01-26AD20084ND
2016-06-27AD41911ND
2016-09-29AD52074ND
2016-11-29AD59385ND
2017-01-26AD67185ND
2017-01-26AD67177ND
2017-01-26AD67201ND
2017-04-25AD81207ND