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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE

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Styrene

Marshall Waterworks

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.

 

18

Samples

0

Samples exceeding legal limit (MCL)

0

Samples exceeding
health guidelines

Testing results - average by year

 
YearAverage resultSamples takenDetectionsRange of results
2012ND40ND
2013ND80ND
2014ND40ND
2015N/A00N/A
2016N/A00N/A
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
2012-06-19OW004720ND
2012-06-19OW004719ND
2012-09-10OX000854ND
2012-11-05OX001574ND
2013-02-12OX002419ND
2013-02-12OX002418ND
2013-02-12OX002417ND
2013-04-02OX002886ND
2013-07-01OY000002ND
2013-07-08OY000057ND
2013-07-08OY000055ND
2013-07-08OY000056ND
2014-02-05118447001ND
2014-02-11119095001ND
2014-02-19120152001ND
2014-07-15145217001ND
2017-07-181004617ND
2017-07-181004620ND