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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE

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Styrene

Waukesha Water Utility

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.

 

24

Samples

0

Samples exceeding legal limit (MCL)

0

Samples exceeding
health guidelines

Testing results - average by year

 
YearAverage resultSamples takenDetectionsRange of results
2012ND30ND
2013ND30ND
2014ND70ND
2015ND40ND
2016N/A00N/A
2017ND70ND

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
2012-03-20655059ND
2012-03-20655057ND
2012-05-22664036ND
2013-02-20706222ND
2013-02-20706220ND
2013-02-20706218ND
2014-03-26776755ND
2014-03-26776753ND
2014-05-07784425ND
2014-05-07784422ND
2014-05-07784419ND
2014-06-11796100ND
2014-06-11796103ND
2015-03-10847853ND
2015-03-10847851ND
2015-03-11847855ND
2015-09-29886380ND
2017-03-28980078ND
2017-03-28980084ND
2017-03-28980081ND
2017-05-02986361ND
2017-05-02986364ND
2017-05-31994537ND
2017-05-31994540ND