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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE

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Styrene

Harris County MUD 165

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.

 

17

Samples

0

Samples exceeding legal limit (MCL)

0

Samples exceeding
health guidelines

Testing results - average by year

 
YearAverage resultSamples takenDetectionsRange of results
2012N/A00N/A
2013ND20ND
2014ND20ND
2015ND70ND
2016ND30ND
2017ND30ND

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
2013-06-13AC22099ND
2013-06-13AC22097ND
2014-07-16AC59847ND
2014-07-16AC59843ND
2015-05-27AC93425ND
2015-05-27AC93397ND
2015-05-27AC93395ND
2015-09-09AD06257ND
2015-09-09AD06255ND
2015-11-10AD13188ND
2015-11-10AD13186ND
2016-03-21AD29673ND
2016-03-21AD29633ND
2016-03-21AD29639ND
2017-05-04AD82785ND
2017-05-04AD82787ND
2017-05-04AD82793ND