Mandatory Health Effects Language

General

This document contains official and semi-official Mandatory Health Effects Language (MHEL) from the NYSDOH, USEPA, DCHD, and others for use in notices. Other official boiler plate is included in some sections. Modify to suit.

This document may not be current with respect to language. Check the sources. Please report any discrepancies.

Call NYSDOH for Mandatory Health Effects Language not listed here. Add new language to this document.

Some items from Subpart Q Appendix B of Part 141 -- Standard Health Effects Language for Public Notification.

Some radionuclide language is taken from the Proposed EPA Radionuclides Rule; MCL's listed in the proposed health effects language may not be the final MCL's.

Public notices should follow the format outlined in 5-1.78 Public Notification.
EHM item PWS71 contains further guidance.

Using Find from the Edit menu of your browser may be faster than using Page Down.

See also FEDERAL LANGUAGE from 40CFR141 at the Government Printing Office's electronic CFR: Look in Appendix B to Subpart Q at the bottom.

Quick health advisory level chart from USEPA Drinking Water Health Advisories.

Although the MCLs may be different, some varying health effects language is in the Florida MCL guide.

For All Supplies

Example missing

Format

Public notices should follow the format outlined in 5-1.78 Public Notification.

See also NOTICE.DOT, a template for creating public notices.
Also see the boil notices at NYSDOH. (NYSDOH Boil Water Notice information.)

What supply is doing

This section should be introduced by the statement "Public Water Systems that violate drinking water standards must notify consumers, investigate the problem and propose methods for complying with the standard," followed by information on what the supplier is doing. If known, notices should mention the date by which the problem will be corrected. If the problem has already been corrected, the notice should inform consumers of the date the problem was corrected.

For Volatile Contaminants

Preventative Measures

Example of Typical Advice on Non-Ingestion Pathways

Optional

Some people may wish to take practical measures which will further reduce their exposure. Individuals could use bottled water for drinking and cooking purposes. Since the chemicals tend to evaporate into the air, increasing ventilation during bathing and showering, as well as reducing the duration of bathing and showering, will help reduce exposure from breathing the vapors and through skin contact.

Last Revised

Thomas Johnson, NYSDOH BTSA 2007-01-18

Table of Contents

Inorganic (18)

Extra items to be added

Silver

Secondary standard of 0.1 mg/l based on cosmetic graying of skin.

Copper

Standard of 1.3 mg/l based on acute gastric upset. 1.0 mg/l based on taste.

Last Revised

2015-11-13 based on Joseph Cotruvo, Silver and Metals in Water Disinfection, Water Technology, August 2014, p12

Antimony

MHEL

Antimony is a silver-white metal that occurs in nature in many different compounds. Antimony is used in the flame-retardant industry, and in ceramics, glass, batteries, fireworks and explosives. Antimony may get into drinking water through the natural weathering of rock and through mining and processing, and waste disposal of antimony ores and antimony metal.

Exposure to high levels of antimony damages the heart, lungs, gastrointestinal tract, liver and blood of humans and laboratory animals. Studies in industrial workers who were exposed to high air levels of antimony compounds over long periods of time reported gastrointestinal disturbances such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, ulcers, altered electrocardiogram (heart) readings and increased blood pressure. Breathing antimony causes lung cancer in laboratory animals. Whether eating antimony causes cancer in humans or laboratory animals is unknown. Chemicals that cause adverse health effects in human and laboratory animals after high levels of exposure may pose a risk of adverse health effects in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 12/1998

Arsenic

MHEL

Arsenic is a metal found in ores of copper, lead and other minerals, and in soil, groundwater and surface water. Arsenic compounds are used in wood preservatives and have been used in commercial pesticides. Contamination of drinking water may occur if arsenic gets into surface or groundwater after dissolving from minerals in the ground. It may also occur after the past use of arsenical pesticides and improper waste disposal by smelting operations. Some people exposed to high levels of arsenic in drinking water for long periods of time developed a characteristic darkening and thickening of the skin on the hands and feet. Long-term exposure to high levels of arsenic is also associated with nerve and liver damage, high blood pressure, damage to the vascular system (i.e., blood vessels of the heart and brain), and may lead to learning deficiencies. There is increasing evidence that long-term exposure to high levels of arsenic in drinking water increases the risk of lung, skin and bladder cancer. Chemicals that cause adverse health effects in humans after high levels of exposure may pose a risk of adverse health effects in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time.

Last Revised

NYSDOH 2/08

Asbestos

MHEL

Asbestos is a common name for a group of naturally occurring minerals that separate into fibers. Six fibrous minerals are generally recognized as asbestos, including the most common forms - chrysotile and crocidolite. Asbestos has been used as insulating and fire retarding materials and in the production of cement, floor tiles, paint and brake linings. Asbestos fibers generally get into drinking water from naturally contaminated surface water or from the corrosion of asbestos-cement pipes.

Inhaled asbestos fibers cause lung cancer in humans and in laboratory animals exposed to high levels in air over their lifetimes. The evidence that ingested asbestos causes cancer in animals is weak and comes from one study where chrysotile fibers caused benign (non-cancerous) tumors in male laboratory rats exposed to high levels in their food during their lifetimes. Chemicals that cause cancer in humans and laboratory animals may increase the risk of cancer in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time. Whether ingested asbestos causes cancer in humans is unknown.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 12/93

Barium

MHEL

Barium is a silvery-white metal that occurs in nature in many different compounds. It is also found naturally in drinking water and food. It is used in oil and gas drilling muds and in the production of paints, bricks, tiles, ceramics and as an additive for jet fuels. Barium generally gets into drinking water after dissolving from naturally occurring minerals in the ground or after improper waste disposal. There is some evidence that exposure to high levels of barium damages the heart and causes high-blood pressure in humans and laboratory animals

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 12/93

Cadmium

MHEL

Cadmium is a silvery-white metal that occurs in nature in many different compounds. It is also found naturally in soil, food and in tobacco smoke. It has many uses in industry and consumer products, mainly in the production of batteries, pigments, plastics and metal coatings (galvanized pipes, for example). Contamination of drinking water may occur if cadmium gets into surface or groundwater after dissolving from naturally occurring minerals in the ground. It may also occur after improper waste disposal. Cadmium has been associated with an increased risk of lung cancer in industrial workers who breathed elevated levels of the metal over long periods of time in workplace air. There is some evidence that cadmium causes cancer in rats exposed to high levels in their drinking water over their lifetime. Chemicals that cause cancer among industrial workers and laboratory animals exposed to elevated levels are believed to increase the risk of cancer in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time. Some people exposed to large amounts of cadmium suffered kidney and bone damage. Exposure to high levels of cadmium damages the kidneys, blood, liver, heart and the immune and nervous systems of laboratory animals. High exposure also damages the unborn offspring of laboratory animals exposed during pregnancy. Chemicals that cause adverse health effects in humans and laboratory animals after high levels of exposure pose a risk of adverse health effects in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time.

Last Revised

NYSDOH 8/09

Chloride

MHEL

The presence of chloride ions in drinking water above the maximum contaminant level of 250 mg/l can result in two undesirable aesthetic effects. First, the water consumer may detect an objectionable taste to the water. Second, corrosion of the pipes in hot water systems may occur. Consumers may become accustomed to the taste of somewhat higher chloride levels, but the economic effects of these higher levels ought to be avoided. High levels of sodium are associated with chloride contamination. Persons on restricted sodium diets should consult their physician.

Preventative Measures

Chloride cannot be readily removed from drinking water without the use of distillation, reverse osmosis or electrodialysis which are effective but relatively expensive; thus, the use of an alternative source, such as bottled water or blending, is the most desirable approach.

Last Revised

DCHD 3/97

Chromium

MHEL

Chromium is a steel-gray metal that occurs in nature in many different compounds. It is used for electroplating, in the manufacture of steel and in the textile, tanning and leather industries. Chromium generally gets into drinking water in runoff from old mining operations and after improper waste disposal from plating operations.

Some industrial workers exposed to large amounts of chromium suffered liver, kidney, and skin damage. Exposure to high levels of chromium damages the kidneys, liver, nervous and reproductive systems of laboratory animals and the unborn offspring of laboratory animals exposed during pregnancy.

NYSDOH BTSA 12/93

Fluoride

MHEL

Fluorides are naturally occurring or man-made chemicals which are found in food, water, soil and air. Fluorides are used in a variety of dental products such as toothpastes, mouth rinses and fluoride supplements. In some municipalities, fluoride is added to drinking water to protect against tooth decay. Other fluoride compounds are used in numerous commercial products (e.g., cements, pesticides, ceramics) and industrial processes.

Ingestion of moderate amounts of fluoride typically found in foods and fluoridated water has been shown to protect against tooth decay without causing adverse health effects. However, some children who drink water with fluoride levels greater than about 2.0 mg/l may develop dental fluorosis, which, in its moderate and severe forms, is a brown staining and/or pitting of permanent teeth. Drinking water that contains levels above 4.0 mg/l for many years may result in some cases of crippling skeletal fluorosis, which is a serious bone disorder. Symptoms of fluoride poisoning from short-term exposure to high concentrations of fluoride include gastrointestinal effects, kidney and liver damage, convulsions, respiratory arrest, coma and death.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 3/91

Iron

MHEL

Iron is not considered hazardous to health. In fact, iron is essential for good health because it transports oxygen in your blood. Iron is considered a secondary or "aesthetic" contaminant. The present recommended limit for iron in water, 0.3 mg/l (ppm), is based on taste and appearance rather than on any detrimental health effect. When the level of iron in water exceeds the 0.3 mg/l limit, we experience red, brown, or yellow staining of laundry, glassware, dishes and household fixtures such as bathtubs and sinks. The water may also have a metallic taste and an offensive odor. Water system piping and fixtures can also become restricted or clogged.

Last Revised

DCHD 2005-04-14 MK

Manganese

MHEL

Manganese is a common element in rocks, soil, water, plants, and animals. Manganese occurs naturally in water after dissolving from rocks and soil. Contamination of drinking water may occur if manganese gets into surface or groundwater after dissolving from rocks and soil. It may also occur manganese gets into surface or groundwater after improper waste disposal in landfills or by facilities using manganese in the production of steel or other products.

Manganese is an essential nutrient that is necessary to maintain good health. However, exposure to too much manganese can cause adverse health effects. There is strong evidence from human studies that occupational exposures to manganese in air can cause a serious nervous system disease in adults. This disease shares some of the signs and symptoms of Parkinson's disease. There is weaker evidence from human studies that long-term exposure to manganese in drinking water is associated with nervous system effects in adults (e.g., weakness, stiff muscles and trembling of the hands) and children (learning and behavior). These data are only suggestive of an effect because the possible influences of other factors were not adequately assessed in the studies Chemicals that cause adverse health effects in humans after high levels of exposure may pose a risk of adverse health effects in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time.

Last Revised

NYSDOH 1/2010

Older version

Manganese is a natural component of the environment and we are exposed to low levels in water, soil and food. Too much manganese, however, can cause adverse health effects. Manganese miners or steel workers exposed to high levels of manganese dust may have mental and emotional disturbances, and their body movements may become slow and clumsy. Whether eating or drinking too much manganese can cause these problems is unknown. In one report1, humans who drank water containing very high levels of manganese (20 mg/l) developed symptoms similar to these seen in manganese miners, but it is not certain whether the effects were caused by manganese alone or other contaminants. In another report2, people who drank water with above average levels of manganese (about 2 mg/l) were reported to have a slightly higher frequency of symptoms such as weakness, stiff muscles and trembling of the hands. However, these symptoms are not specific for manganese and might have been caused by other factors. Although these studies are limited, they suggest that high levels of manganese in drinking water may increase the risk of adverse health effects, particularly after many years of exposure.

Because of the potential for increased health risks from drinking water with high levels of manganese, we recommend that steps be taken to reduce manganese levels in your drinking water. Possible solutions would be to install a water treatment system to remove manganese from the water supply or to use an alternate supply of water for drinking and cooking purposes.

1 Kawamura R, Ikuta H, Fukuzumi S, et al. 1941. Intoxication by manganese in well water. Kisato Arch Exp Med 18:145-171

2 Kondakis XG, Makris N, Leotsinidis M, et al. 1989. Possible health effects of high manganese concentration in drinking water. Arch Environ Health 44:175-178

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA

Alternate used in Suffolk County (2007???)

COUNTY OF SUFFOLK
[seal]
STEVE LEVY
SUFFOLK COUNTY EXECUTIVE
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES LINDA MERMELSTEIN, MD, MPH
Acting Health Commissioner

Information on Manganese in Drinking Water

Manganese is a common element in rocks, soil, water, plants, and animals. Contamination of drinking water may occur if manganese gets into surface or groundwater after dissolving from rocks and soil. It may also occur if manganese gets into surface or grotmdwater after improper waste disposal in landfills or by facilities using manganese.

Manganese is noticeable in tap water at levels greater than 0.05 milligrams per liter (0.05 mg/L) because the water can have a brown color and leave black deposits on bathroom fixtures or laundry. At levels exceeding 0.1 mg/L, water can have an undesirable taste or smell. The New York State (NYS) primary drinking water standard (MCL) for manganese in public water supplies is 0.3 mg/L, and was originally set based on staining and taste considerations (aesthetics). This standard is also used to provide guidance regarding the use of drinking-water from private wells.

Manganese is an essential nutrient that is necessary to maintain good health. However, exposure to too much manganese can cause adverse health effects. Since the NYS standard was promulgated, concerns have arisen about the potential health risks from exposure to elevated levels of manganese in drinking water. In 2004, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a One-day and Ten-Day Drinking Water Health Advisories for manganese of 1 mg/L. In addition, the US EPA also issued a Lifetime Drinking Water Health Advisory for manganese of 0.3 mg/L. These health advisories were issued to provide guidance to people and communities that may be exposed to drinking water contaminated with high manganese levels. The advisories are set at the manganese level in drinking water that is not expected to cause any adverse non- cancer effects over one day, ten days or a lifetime of exposure.

Because the lifetime health advisory is not meant to be a bright line between water levels that cause health effects and those that do not, exposure to levels above 0.3 mg/L are not necessarily associated with toxicity. However, results of studies on the potential health risks of exposure to elevated levels of manganese in drinking water raise concerns about the long-term consumption of water with levels above 0.3 mg/L. In these studies, adults and children who drank water with elevated levels of manganese (average levels of 0.6 mg/L and higher) for many years (average length of exposure of 7 years and higher) seemed to have a slightly higher frequency of nervous system effects than adults and children drinking water with lower levels of manganese. Observed effects included weakness, stiff muscles and trembling of the hands (adults) and altered scores on tests of learning and behavior (children). Although the effects reported in these limited studies are not specific to manganese and might have been caused by other factors, they provide evidence (along with other studies of nervous system effects from manganese in animals and humans) that high levels of manganese in drinking water may increase the risk for health effects, particularly after frequent and long term exposure.

There is also a concern for infants fed formula prepared with water containing elevated levels of manganese. Infants may absorb more manganese than adults and may excrete less. Thus, infants have a greater potential for exposure than adults even though both groups are drinking the same water. This greater exposure and the suggestive evidence of nervous system effects in children chronically exposed to high levels of manganese from drinking water support concem about the health risks to women, infants, and children consuming water containing more than 0.3 mg/L during critical periods of development (e. g., pregnancy) or for long periods of time.

The NYS DOH and SCDHS recommend that measures be taken to reduce manganese exposure when levels in drinking water are above 0.3 mg/L, The higher the level, the greater the urgency to reduce exposures. Connecting to public water or use of bottled water should be considered for drinking, cooking, and making infant formula. Another option is the installation of a water treatment system to remove the manganese, which would also address problems with staining of latmdry and plumbing fixtures, and improve the aesthetic quality (taste and odor) of drinking water.

If your well water is used primarily for irrigation and only occasional drinking, exposures would be reduced and the risks for health affects would be lower.

° Office of Water Resources °
Division or Environmental Quality ~ 360 Yaphank Avenue, Suite: 1C ~ YAPHANK NY 11980
Phone: (631) 852.5810 ~ Fax (631) 852.5787

Alternate used for Chelsea Ridge Apartments (2002)

Manganese is a natural component of the environment and we are exposed to low levels in water, soil and food.

The Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council determined an estimated safe and adequate daily dietary intake of manganese to be 2 to 5 mg for adults. However, many people's diets lead them to consume even higher amounts of manganese, especially those that consume high amounts of vegetables or are vegetarians. The infant population is of greater concern. It would be better if the drinking water were not used to make infant formula, since it already contains manganese.

Excess manganese produces a brownish color in laundered goods and impairs the taste of tea, coffee, and other beverages. High manganese concentration may cause a brownish or blackish stain on porcelain plumbing fixtures. Manganese may form a coating on distribution pipes. These may slough off, causing brown splotches on laundered clothing or black particles in the water.

Preventative Measures

>300 mcg/L to 500 mcg/L

The level of exposure to manganese in your drinking water is relatively low and does not constitute an immediate health hazard. However, some people may wish to take practical measures which reduce their exposure. Individuals could use bottled water for drinking and cooking purposes. Installation of a water treatment system to remove manganese would also eliminate staining of plumbing fixtures and laundry.

>500 mcg/L to 1,000 mcg/L

The level of exposure to manganese in your drinking water is relatively low and does not constitute an immediate health hazard. However, because of concern about the potential for increased health risks from drinking water with high levels of manganese over long periods of time, we recommend that steps be taken to reduce manganese levels in your drinking water. You could use bottled water for drinking and cooking purposes. Installation of water treatment system to remove manganese would reduce exposure as well as staining of plumbing fixtures and laundry.

>1,000 mcg/L

Because of the potential for increased health risks from drinking water with high levels of manganese over long periods of time, we recommend that steps be taken to reduce manganese levels in your drinking water. Possible solutions to the problem include using bottled water for drinking and cooking or installing a water treatment system to remove the manganese. A water treatment system would also address problems with staining of laundry and fixtures. Also the water should not be used for making infant formula.

Last Revised

6/26/1996

Mercury

MHEL

Mercury is a silvery, liquid metal that occurs in nature in many different compounds. Pure mercury is used in thermometers, electrical equipment (including water and sump pumps), lamps and dental amalgams. Mercury compounds have been used in paints and pharmaceutical preparations. Mercury generally gets into drinking water as a result of improper waste disposal.

Some people exposed to large amounts of mercury suffered kidney and nervous system damage. Exposure to high levels of mercury also damages the kidneys and nervous system of laboratory animals. Chemicals that cause adverse health effects in humans and laboratory animals after high levels of exposure pose a risk of adverse health effects in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time.

Last Revised

NYSDOH 2/08

Nitrate

MHEL

Nitrate naturally occurs in a number of foods, particularly vegetables. It is also used as preservatives in meats such as bacon. Nitrate is also used to make lawn, garden and agricultural fertilizers and is found in sewage and wastes from farm animals. It generally gets into drinking water by runoff into surface water or by leaching into groundwater after land application or improper disposal of sewage or animal waste.

Infants are particularly sensitive to nitrate. High levels of nitrate in drinking water have caused serious illness and sometimes death in infants under 6 months of age. This serious illness occurs because nitrate is converted to nitrite in the body and nitrite reduces the ability of the infant's blood to carry oxygen. Symptoms of the illness can develop rapidly and include shortness of breath and blueness of the skin (blue baby condition). Exposure to nitrate in drinking water at levels above 10 milligrams per liter (10 mg/L) increases the risk of developing the illness. Because the effects of nitrate and nitrite are additive, water containing more than 10 mg/L of total nitrate/nitrite should not be used to prepare infant formula or other beverages for infants. Although older children and adults are generally less sensitive than infants to the effects of nitrate, those who have certain gastrointestinal disorders (for example, achlorhydria or atrophic gastritis) that substantially reduce stomach acid and favor the production of nitrite from nitrate may have a greater risk for illness than the general population.

Last Revised

Tina Hunt 2016-03-03 email

Nitrite

MHEL

Nitrite naturally occurs in a number of foods, particularly vegetables. It is also used as preservatives in meats such as bacon. Nitrite is also used to make lawn, garden and agricultural fertilizers and is found in sewage and wastes from farm animals. Nitrite generally gets into drinking water by runoff into surface water or by leaching into groundwater after application or after improper sewage or animal waste disposal. Nitrite is also formed in the body when people ingest food or water containing nitrate.

Infants are particularly sensitive to nitrite. Although high levels of nitrite in drinking water have not been observed, high levels of nitrate in drinking water (another source of nitrite) have caused serious illness and sometime death in infants under 6 months of age. The serious illness occurs because nitrate is converted to nitrite in the body and nitrite reduces the ability of the infant's blood to carry oxygen. Symptoms of the illness can develop rapidly and include shortness of breath and blueness of the skin ("blue baby condition"). Exposure to nitrite in drinking water at levels above 1 milligram per liter (1 mg/L) increases the risk of developing the illness. Because the effects of nitrite and nitrate are additive, water containing more than 10 mg/L of total nitrite/nitrate should not be used to prepare infant formula or other beverages for infants.

Last Revised

NYSDOH 2/08

Perchlorate

MHEL

Perchlorates are a family of inorganic compounds or salts that include compounds such as ammonium perchlorate, potassium perchlorate, and sodium perchlorate. About 90% of the ammonium perchlorate that is manufactured is used in rocket fuel. Some is also used in fireworks and military explosives. Perchlorate salts are found in fertilizer mined in Chile. Perchlorate is obtained when perchlorate compounds dissolve in water. Drinking water may become contaminated when perchlorate compounds are carried into surface water with runoff or leach into groundwater after crop application or improper waste disposal.

The thyroid gland produces hormones that are essential for normal metabolism, growth, and development. High oral doses of perchlorate reduce the production of thyroid hormones. Potassium perchlorate has been used, until recently, as a medicine to reduce abnormally high thyroid hormone levels to normal levels in people with overactive thyroid glands. Thus, most of the data on the human health effects of perchlorate comes from people who took perchlorate to reduce or eliminate the symptoms caused by high levels of thyroid hormones. A small percentage of these people had adverse side-effects, which ranged from minor effects (rashes, fever, swollen lymph glands, or nausea) to more serious effects on the blood and immune systems. In addition, high doses of perchlorate exposure may cause adverse effects in healthy people by reducing the level of thyroid hormones to below normal levels. High doses of perchlorate affect the thyroid gland of animals; short-term exposure (4 days to 4 weeks) reduced thyroid-gland hormone levels in rats and lifelong exposure to very high levels caused benign thyroid tumors in rats. Whether perchlorate causes cancer in humans is unknown. Chemicals that cause adverse health effects in humans and laboratory animals after high levels of exposure pose a risk of adverse health effects in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 1998-11-20

Other

USEPA (2008) produced an interim health advisory of 15 µg/L in drinking water based on a review by the National Research Council and is now engaging in a regulatory development process. On the other hand, in 2011 the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives, … UN Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization released its analysis of the level of concern for perchlorate. … provisional maximum tolerable daily intake of 10 µg/kg body weight/day … The committee considered that these estimated dietary exposures were not of health concern.

Cotruvo, Joseph A.,The Safe Drinking Water Act: Current and Future,Journal AWWA - 104:1, p59

Selenium

MHEL

Selenium is a metal, usually gray, that occurs in nature in many different compounds. It is used in the manufacture of glass, rubber, paint and electrical equipment. Selenium generally gets into drinking water after dissolving from naturally occurring minerals in the ground or after improper waste disposal.

Selenium is an essential nutrient at low levels of exposure. Some people exposed to large amounts of selenium suffered skin, teeth, nail and nervous system damage. Exposure to high levels of selenium damages the liver and reproductive system of laboratory animals and the unborn offspring of laboratory animals exposed during pregnancy.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 12/93

Strontium

MCL

NYSDOH has set a guideline of 20,000 ppb.

The above number is arbitrary and was communicated to DCHD in 1988.

See D. Ruff's 8/26/1988 memo to Engineering Staff

MHEL

Strontium is a silvery metal that rapidly turns yellowish in air. Strontium is found naturally as a non-radioactive element. Strontium is naturally occurring in rocks, soil, dust, coal, and oil. Strontium compounds are used in making ceramics and glass products, pyrotechnics, paint pigments, fluorescent lights, and medicines. Exposure to stable or radioactive strontium occurs from ingesting contaminated food or drinking water or breathing contaminated air. In children, high levels of stable strontium can impair bone growth. Strontium-90 is the most important radioactive isotope in the environment, although strontium-89 can be found around reactors, and strontium-85 is used in industry and medicine. High levels of radioactive strontium can cause anemia or cancer.

Last Revised

EPA and ATSDR - from Gena Mitchell, DCDOH EHI, 2010-09-13

Sulfate

MHEL

Sulfate is a substance that occurs naturally in drinking water. Health concerns regarding sulfate in drinking water have been raised because of reports that diarrhea may be associated with the ingestion of water containing high levels of sulfate. Of particular concern are groups within the general population that may be at greater risk from the laxative effects of sulfate when they experience an abrupt change from drinking water with low sulfate concentrations to drinking water with high sulfate concentrations.

Last Revised

http://www.epa.gov/safewater/sulfate.html 26-Jul-2001

Thallium

MHEL

Thallium is a bluish-white metal found in the ores of copper, zinc and lead. It is used in the manufacture of electronic equipment, drugs, glass and metal alloys. Contamination of drinking water may occur if thallium gets into surface water or groundwater after dissolving from minerals in the ground or after improper waste disposal.

Some workers exposed to large amounts of thallium suffered hair loss and nervous system damage. Exposure to high levels of thallium causes hair loss and damages the nervous system and testes of laboratory animals. Chemicals that cause adverse health effects in workers and laboratory animals after high levels of exposure pose a risk of adverse health effects in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 11/1996

Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts (8)

Chlorine

MHEL

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets drinking water standards and has determined that chlorine is a health concern at certain levels of exposure. Chlorine is added to drinking water as a disinfectant to kill bacteria and other disease-causing microorganisms and is also added to provide continuous disinfection throughout the distribution system. Disinfection is required for surface water systems. However, at high doses for extended periods of time, chlorine has been shown to affect blood and the liver in laboratory animals. EPA has set a drinking water standard for chlorine to protect against the risk of these adverse effects. Drinking water which meets this EPA standard is associated with little to none of this risk and should be considered safe with respect to chlorine.

Last Revised

From 12/16/98 Federal Register 40 CFR Parts 9, 141 and 142 National Primary Drinking Water Regulations: Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts; Final Rule

Chloramines

MHEL

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets drinking water standards and has determined that chloramines are a health concern at certain levels of exposure. Chloramines are added to drinking water as a disinfectant to kill bacteria and other disease-causing microorganisms and are also added to provide continuous disinfection throughout the distribution system. Disinfection is required for surface water systems. However, at high doses for extended periods of time, chloramines have been shown to affect blood and the liver in laboratory animals. EPA has set a drinking water standard for chloramines to protect against the risk of these adverse effects. Drinking water which meets this EPA standard is associated with little to none of this risk and should be considered safe with respect to chloramines.

References

From 12/16/98 Federal Register 40 CFR Parts 9, 141 and 142 National Primary Drinking Water Regulations: Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts; Final Rule

See also More on Chloramines for current SDWA language.

Chlorine Dioxide

MHEL

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets drinking water standards and has determined that chlorine dioxide is a health concern at certain levels of exposure. Chlorine dioxide is used in water treatment to kill bacteria and other disease-causing microorganisms and can be used to control tastes and odors. Disinfection is required for surface water systems. However, at high doses, chlorine dioxide-treated drinking water has been shown to affect blood in laboratory animals. Also, high levels of chlorine dioxide given to laboratory animals in drinking water have been shown to cause neurological effects on the developing nervous system. These neurodevelopmental effects may occur as a result of a short-term excessive chlorine dioxide exposure. To protect against such potentially harmful exposures, EPA requires chlorine dioxide monitoring at the treatment plant, where disinfection occurs, and at representative points in the distribution system serving water users. EPA has set a drinking water standard for chlorine dioxide to protect against the risk of these adverse effects.

Note: In addition to the language in this introductory text of paragraph (e)(78), systems must include either the language in paragraph (e)(78)(i) or (e)(78)(ii) of this section. Systems with a violation at the treatment plant, but not in the distribution system, are required to use the language in paragraph (e)(78)(i) of this section and treat the violation as a nonacute violation. Systems with a violation in the distribution system are required to use the language in paragraph (e)(78)(ii) of this section and treat the violation as an acute violation.

(i) The chlorine dioxide violations reported today are the result of exceedances at the treatment facility only, and do not include violations within the distribution system serving users of this water supply. Continued compliance with chlorine dioxide levels within the distribution system minimizes the potential risk of these violations to present consumers.

(ii) The chlorine dioxide violations reported today include exceedances of the EPA standard within the distribution system serving water users. Violations of the chlorine dioxide standard within the distribution system may harm human health based on short-term exposures. Certain groups, including pregnant women, infants, and young children, may be especially susceptible to adverse effects of excessive exposure to chlorine dioxide-treated water. The purpose of this notice is to advise that such persons should consider reducing their risk of adverse effects from these chlorine dioxide violations by seeking alternate sources of water for human consumption until such exceedances are rectified. Local and State health authorities are the best sources for information concerning alternate drinking water.

From 12/16/98 Federal Register 40 CFR Parts 9, 141 and 142 National Primary Drinking Water Regulations: Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts; Final Rule

Disinfection Byproducts and Treatment Techniques for DBP's

MHEL

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets drinking water standards and requires the disinfection of drinking water. However, when used in the treatment of drinking water, disinfectants react with naturally-occurring organic and inorganic matter present in water to form chemicals called disinfection byproducts (DBPs). EPA has determined that a number of DBPs are a health concern at certain levels of exposure. Certain DBPs, including some trihalomethanes (THMs) and some haloacetic acids (HAAs), have been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals. Other DBPs have been shown to affect the liver and the nervous system, and cause reproductive or developmental effects in laboratory animals. Exposure to certain DBPs may produce similar effects in people. EPA has set standards to limit exposure to THMs, HAAs, and other DBPs.

Last Revised

From 12/16/98 Federal Register 40 CFR Parts 9, 141 and 142 National Primary Drinking Water Regulations: Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts; Final Rule

Bromate

MHEL

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets drinking water standards and has determined that bromate is a health concern at certain levels of exposure. Bromate is formed as a byproduct of ozone disinfection of drinking water. Ozone reacts with naturally occurring bromide in the water to form bromate. Bromate has been shown to produce cancer in rats. EPA has set a drinking water standard to limit exposure to bromate.

Last Revised

From 12/16/98 Federal Register 40 CFR Parts 9, 141 and 142 National Primary Drinking Water Regulations: Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts; Final Rule

Chlorite

MHEL

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets drinking water standards and has determined that chlorite is a health concern at certain levels of exposure. Chlorite is formed from the breakdown of chlorine dioxide, a drinking water disinfectant. Chlorite in drinking water has been shown to affect blood and the developing nervous system. EPA has set a drinking water standard for chlorite to protect against these effects. Drinking water which meets this standard is associated with little to none of these risks and should be considered safe with respect to chlorite.

From 12/16/98 Federal Register 40 CFR Parts 9, 141 and 142 National Primary Drinking Water Regulations: Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts; Final Rule

Haloacetic Acids (HAA)

MHEL

HAAs are formed in drinking water during treatment by chlorine (the most commonly used disinfectant in New York State), which reacts with certain acids that are in naturally-occurring organic material (e.g., decomposing vegetation such as tree leaves, algae, or other aquatic plants) in surface water sources such as rivers and lakes. The amount of HAAs in drinking water can change from day to day, depending on the temperature, the amount of organic material in the water, the amount of chlorine added, and a variety of other factors. Drinking water is disinfected by public water suppliers to kill bacteria and viruses that could cause serious illnesses. For this reason, disinfection of drinking water by chlorination is beneficial to public health.

Some studies suggest that people who drank chlorinated drinking water containing disinfection by-products (possibly including HAAs) for long periods of time (e.g., 20 to 30 years) have an increased risk for certain health effects. These include an increased risk for cancer. However, how long and how frequently people actually drank the water as well as how much HAAs the water contained is not known for certain. Therefore, the evidence from these studies is not strong enough to conclude that the observed increased risk for cancer is due to HAAs, other disinfection by-products, or some other factor. Studies of laboratory animals show that the individual HAAs, dichloroacetic acid and trichloroacetic acid, can cause cancer following exposure to high levels over their lifetimes. Dichloroacetic acid and trichloroacetic acid are also known to cause other effects in laboratory animals after high levels of exposure, primarily on the liver, kidney, and nervous system and on their ability to bear healthy offspring. The effects reported in studies of laboratory animals occur at exposures much higher than exposures that could result through normal use of the water. The risks for adverse health effects from HAAs in drinking water are small compared to the risk for illness from drinking inadequately disinfected water.

References

T Brady and Tina Hunt from 2016-04-15 or 2017-01-10

Trihalomethanes

MHEL

What are trihalomethanes?

Trihalomethanes are a group of chemicals that are formed in drinking water during disinfection when chlorine reacts with naturally occurring organic material (e.g., decomposing vegetation such as tree leaves, algae or other aquatic plants) in surface water sources such as rivers and lakes. They are disinfection byproducts and include the individual chemicals chloroform, bromoform, bromodichloromethane, and chlorodibromomethane. The amount of trihalomethanes formed in drinking water during disinfection can change from day to day, depending on the temperature, the amount of organic material in the water, the amount of chlorine added, and a variety of other factors.

Disinfection of drinking water by chlorination is beneficial to public health. Drinking water is disinfected by public water suppliers to kill bacteria and viruses that could cause serious illnesses, and chlorine is the most commonly used disinfectant in New York State. All public water systems that use chlorine as a disinfectant contain trihalomethanes to some degree.

What are the health effects of trihalomethanes?

Some studies suggest that people who drank water containing trihalomethanes for long periods of time (e.g., 20 to 30 years) have an increased risk of certain health effects. These include an increased risk for cancer and for low birth weights, miscarriages and birth defects. The methods used by these studies could not rule out the role of other factors that could have resulted in the observed increased risks. In addition, other similar studies do not show an increased risk for these health effects. Therefore, the evidence from these studies is not strong enough to conclude that trihalomethanes were a major factor contributing to the observed increased risks for these health effects. Studies of laboratory animals show that some trihalomethanes can cause cancer and adverse reproductive and developmental effects, but at exposures much higher than exposures that could result through normal use of the water. The United States Environmental Protection Agency reviewed the information from the human and animal studies and concluded that while there is no causal link between disinfection byproducts (including trihalomethanes) and human health effects, the balance of the information warranted stronger regulations that limit the amount of trihalomethanes in drinking water, while still allowing for adequate disinfection. The risks for adverse health effects from trihalomethanes in drinking water are small compared to the risks for illness from drinking inadequately disinfected water.

Preventative Measures

General non-ingestion preventative measures

References

Thomas Johnson, NYSDOH BTSA 2003-10-27, Revised 6/09 by NYSDOH and sent 04/2013 by Tina Hunt

See also the 1998 Trihalomethane and miscarriage announcement from NYSDOH

Organic Contaminants (61)

General non-ingestion preventative measures

Acrylamide

MHEL

Acrylamide is a white, man-made solid used in the manufacture of polyacrylamide, a gel-like chemical used in the manufacture of many products including paper, adhesives, thickening agents, photographic chemicals and dyes. Polyacrylamide products are also added to drinking water supplies to remove unwanted particles. Acrylamide may get into drinking water if small amounts of it remain in these products.

Acrylamide causes cancer in laboratory animals exposed to high levels over their lifetimes. Chemicals that cause cancer in laboratory animals may increase the risk of cancer in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time. Whether acrylamide causes cancer in humans is unknown. Some people exposed to large amounts of acrylamide in the workplace suffered nervous system damage. Exposure to high levels of acrylamide damages the nervous and reproductive systems of laboratory animals.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 12/93

Alachlor

MHEL

Alachlor is a white, man-made pesticide widely used to control weeds and grasses among corn, soybeans, peanuts and other crops. It generally gets into drinking water by runoff into surface water or by leaching into groundwater after crop application or improper waste disposal.

Alachlor causes cancer in laboratory animals exposed to high levels over their lifetimes. Chemicals that cause cancer in laboratory animals may increase the risk of cancer in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time. Whether alachlor causes cancer in humans is unknown. Exposure to high levels of alachlor damages the eyes, liver, kidneys, blood and spleen of laboratory animals.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 12/93

Aldicarb

MHEL

Aldicarb is a white, man-made pesticide widely used to control insects and other pests on potatoes, citrus, cotton, peanuts and other crops. In New York State, use of aldicarb is severely restricted and it can only be used to treat pests on commercial ornamental plants and potatoes (except on Long Island). It generally gets into drinking water by runoff into surface water or by leaching into groundwater after crop application.

Exposure to high levels of aldicarb damages the nervous system of humans and laboratory animals. Chemicals that cause adverse health effects in humans and laboratory animals after high levels of exposure may pose a risk of adverse health effects in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 12/93

Aldicarb sulfone

MHEL

Aldicarb sulfone is a breakdown product of aldicarb, a man-made pesticide. In New York State, use of aldicarb is severely restricted and it can only be used to treat pests on commercial ornamental plants and potatoes (except on Long Island). It generally gets into drinking water by runoff into surface water or by leaching into groundwater after crop application.

Exposure to high levels of aldicarb sulfone damages the nervous system of humans and laboratory animals. Chemicals that cause adverse health effects in humans and laboratory animals after high levels of exposure may pose a risk of adverse health effects in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 12/93

Aldicarb sulfoxide

MHEL

Aldicarb sulfoxide is a breakdown product of aldicarb, a man-made pesticide. In New York State, use of aldicarb is severely restricted and it can only be used to treat pests on commercial ornamental plants and potatoes (except on Long Island). It generally gets into drinking water by runoff into surface water or by leaching into groundwater after crop application.

Exposure to high levels of aldicarb sulfoxide damages the nervous system of humans and laboratory animals. Chemicals that cause adverse health effects in humans and laboratory animals after high levels of exposure may pose a risk of adverse health effects in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 12/93

Atrazine

MHEL

Atrazine is a white, man-made pesticide widely used to control weeds among corn, sorghum, pineapple, citrus and other crops. It is also used for weed control on industrial and non-agricultural land. Atrazine generally gets into drinking water by runoff into surface water or by leaching into groundwater after crop application or improper waste disposal.

Atrazine causes cancer in laboratory animals exposed to high levels over their lifetimes. Chemicals that cause cancer in laboratory animals may increase the risk of cancer in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time. Whether atrazine causes cancer in humans is unknown. Exposure to high levels of atrazine damages the heart, liver and kidneys of laboratory animals and reduces the weight of offspring born to animals exposed before, during and after pregnancy.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 12/93

Benzene

MHEL

Benzene is a naturally occurring substance and a major industrial chemical made from coal and oil. As a pure chemical, benzene is a colorless liquid. It is used as a solvent and in the manufacture of other chemicals. Benzene is also found in petroleum products such as gasoline. It generally gets into drinking water from gasoline or fuel oil spills, industrial discharge, leaking storage tanks or by improper disposal of waste products containing benzene.

Benzene has been associated with an increased risk of leukemia in industrial workers who breathed elevated levels of the chemical over long periods of time in workplace air. Benzene has also caused cancer in laboratory animals exposed at high levels over their lifetimes. Chemicals that cause cancer among industrial workers and laboratory animals exposed to elevated levels are believed to increase the risk of cancer in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time. Benzene has also been associated with damage to the blood-cell-forming tissues and the immune and nervous system of industrial workers and laboratory animals.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 3/08

Bromochloromethane

MHEL

Bromochloromethane (also called chlorobromomethane) is a colorless to pale yellow man-made liquid used as a liquid fire-extinguishing agent, as a grain fumigant, and as an intermediate (building-block) in the production of other chemicals. It generally gets into drinking water after improper disposal of chemical waste.

Information on the toxicity of bromochloromethane in humans and laboratory animals is limited, particularly with respect to the effects of long-term exposure. Exposure to high concentrations of bromochloromethane in air for a short period of time resulted in disorientation, headache, nausea, and irritation of the eyes and throat. Studies on laboratory animals show that exposure to high concentrations of bromochloroethane damages their nervous system, lungs, liver, and kidneys. Chemicals which cause adverse effects in laboratory animals may also pose a risk of adverse health effects in humans who are exposed at lower levels over long periods of time.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 6/90

Bromomethane

MHEL

Bromomethane (also called methyl bromide) is a colorless gas with very little odor. At very high levels, the gas has a sweet odor. Bromomethane is used mainly as a fumigant to kill insects in crops, soil and buildings. It is also used to manufacture other industrial chemicals. In the past, it was used in some fire extinguishers and as a refrigerant. Bromomethane gets into drinking water primarily through improper use or disposal. There is some evidence that low levels of bromomethane may form in drinking water as a result of disinfection (e.g., by chlorination to remove disease-causing microorganisms). Since bromomethane is a gas at room temperature, most of the information on its health effects comes from studies where people or animals were exposed by inhalation. Studies on the health effects of bromomethane after oral exposure are limited. Adverse effects on the stomach occurred in one study in which rats had bromomethane injected directly into their stomachs. Humans exposed to high levels of bromomethane in air for short periods of time had damage to their lungs, adverse effects on the nervous system, liver and kidneys, and skin and eye irritation. Laboratory animals exposed to high levels of bromomethane in air for long periods of time had damage to the nasal cavity, lungs and heart, and adverse effects on the central nervous system and male reproductive system. Chemicals that cause adverse health effects in humans and laboratory animals at high levels of exposure may also pose a risk of adverse health effects in humans who are exposed at lower levels over long periods of time.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 1/08

Butyl Alcohol

MHEL

Butyl alcohols are central nervous system depressants and are 2 to 5 times more acutely toxic than ethanol in the rat. Toxic symptoms are usually more severe and more prolonged than those in ethanol intoxication with equivalent doses. Exposures to vapors result in marked irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, headache, vertigo and drowsiness, central nervous system depression, hypotension, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea (HSDB, 1993). In general tertiary alcohols are more toxic than corresponding normal alcohols (Gosselin et al., 1984). TBA is classified as a moderate ingestion hazard and is a slight skin irritant.

Tertiary alcohols are metabolized slowly and incompletely so their toxic effects are especially persistent. They are partially excreted in the urine as glucuronides. Liver damage was believed to be the cause in late deaths after single doses of various butanols, including tert-butyl in rats (Gosselin et al., 1984). No entries are listed for TBA in the IRIS or HEAST databases at this time (IRIS, 1993, HEAST, 1992).

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA ~1994

Carbofuran

MHEL

Carbofuran is a white, man-made pesticide widely used to control insects and other pests on corn and other crops. It generally gets into drinking water by runoff into surface water or by leaching into groundwater after crop application.

Some people exposed to large amounts of carbofuran in the workplace suffered nervous system damage. Exposure to high levels of carbofuran damages the nervous and reproductive systems of laboratory animals. Chemicals that cause adverse health effects in humans and laboratory animals after high levels of exposure may pose a risk of adverse health effects in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 12/93

Carbon tetrachloride

MHEL

Carbon tetrachloride is a clear, man-made liquid. Until the mid-1960's, it was widely used as a household cleaning fluid, in fire extinguishers, as a grain fumigant and as a treatment for hookworm. It is currently used in the manufacture of refrigerants and propellants for aerosol cans. Carbon tetrachloride generally gets into drinking water by improper waste disposal.

Carbon tetrachloride causes cancer in laboratory animals exposed at high levels over their lifetimes. Chemicals that cause cancer in laboratory animals also may increase the risk of cancer in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time. Whether or not carbon tetrachloride causes cancer in humans is unknown. Some humans exposed to large amounts of this chemical have had nervous system, liver and kidney damage. Exposure to high concentrations of carbon tetrachloride damages the male reproductive system in laboratory animals.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 3/1991

Chlordane

MHEL

Chlordane is a colorless-to-amber, man-made pesticide that was widely used to control agricultural and home/garden pests until most uses were banned in the mid-1970s. In New York State, Chlordane was used for the underground control of termites until that use was banned in 1987. Chlordane generally gets into drinking water after improper waste disposal or when it is injected in soil that is close to a well.

Chlordane causes cancer in laboratory animals exposed to high levels over their lifetimes. Chemicals that cause cancer in laboratory animals may increase the risk of cancer in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time. Whether chlordane causes cancer in humans is unknown. Some people exposed to large amounts of chlordane suffered nervous system damage. Exposure to high levels of chlordane damages the nervous system, liver and kidneys of laboratory animals.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 12/93 (a 1997-08 revision exists)

Chloroethane

MHEL

Chloroethane (also called ethyl chloride) is a colorless, man-made gas. It was once widely used in the production of leaded gasoline but is now used primarily as a foaming agent for plastic products, as a refrigerant, as a solvent, and as a building block in the production of other chemicals, including plastics, dyes and pharmaceuticals.

Some people exposed to large amounts of chloroethane in air had heart, lung, stomach and central nervous system damage. Exposure to large amounts of chloroethane damaged the heart, central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, liver, kidneys and spleen of laboratory animals. Chloroethane causes cancer in laboratory animals exposed to high levels over their lifetimes. Chemicals that cause cancer in laboratory animals also may increase the risk of cancer in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time. Whether or not chloroethane causes cancer in humans is unknown.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 3/1991

Chloromethane

MHEL

Chloromethane (also called methyl chloride) is a naturally occurring, colorless gas that has a faint, sweet odor. It is produced from chemical reactions that occur in the oceans and when grass, wood, charcoal, or coal is burned. In industry, chloromethane is used mainly in the production of other chemicals and has been used as a refrigerant. Chloromethane can get into drinking water from improper use or disposal of the chemical, and can be formed in small amounts when water is chlorinated. There is very limited information on the potential health effects of chloromethane following exposure by the oral route. Some people exposed to large amounts of chloromethane in air had effects on the central nervous system (confusion, staggering, slurred speech), liver (biochemical changes), and heart and circulatory system (increased pulse and decreased blood pressure). Laboratory animals exposed to high levels of chloromethane in air over their lifetimes had adverse effects on the liver, kidney, nervous system, and the male reproductive system. In one inhalation study, exposure to high levels of chloromethane in air resulted in some evidence of cancer effects in male mice, but not in female mice or in male and female rats. Chemicals that cause adverse health effects in humans and laboratory animals after high levels of exposure may pose a risk of adverse health effects in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time.

Last Revised

NYSDOH 1/08

2-Chlorotoluene and 4-Chlorotoluene

Notes

These are drinking water health advisories, but not directly available ($30 each).
O-Chlorotoluene: Drinking Water Health Advisory, EPA Number 820K89104
P-Chlorotoluene: Drinking Water Health Advisory, EPA Number: 820K89111

These reference other state and federal standards which are far less stringent than NY:
Pubchem 1-Chloro-2-methylbenzene - Substance Summary
Pubchem 4-chlorotoluene - Compound Summary

Per Tom Johnson, NYSDOH has not written mandatory health effects language for these chlorotoluenes. They are rare. 2013-12-17

The compounds are volatile, so the Volatile Contaminants advisory should also be included.

Last Revised

DCHD 2013-12-17

Cumene

MHEL

Cumene (also called isopropylbenzene) is a colorless liquid that is used to make other chemicals and as a solvent in paints and perfumes. It is also found in gasoline. Cumene generally gets into drinking water from improper waste disposal or leaking gasoline storage tanks.

Exposure to high levels of cumene damages the nervous system, liver and kidneys of laboratory animals. Chemicals that cause adverse health effects in laboratory animals after high levels of exposure may also pose a risk of adverse health effects in humans who are exposed to lower levels over long periods of time.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 9/92

2,4-D

MHEL

2,4-D (also called 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid) is a white, man-made pesticide used to control weeds and grasses among agricultural crops (corn, wheat, sorghum, rice) and on rangeland and pastures. It generally gets into drinking water by runoff into surface water or by leaching into groundwater after application or improper waste disposal.

Some industrial workers exposed to large amounts of 2,4-D and other related chemicals suffered nervous system damage. Exposure to high levels of 2,4-D damages the liver, kidneys and blood of laboratory animals. Chemicals that cause adverse health effects in workers and laboratory animals after high levels of exposure pose a risk of adverse health effects in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 12/93

Dacthal and Tetrachloroterephthalic Acid

MHEL

Dacthal (dimethyl-2,3,5,6-tetrachloroterephthalate) is an herbicide used to control weeds in turf, ornamentals and a wide variety of agricultural crops. It is also used to control weeds in residential lawns. Dacthal degrades in the environment to form several chemicals which are soluble in water and can leach into groundwater.

Dacthal causes cancer in laboratory animals exposed to high levels over their lifetimes. Chemicals that cause cancer in laboratory animals may increase the risk of cancer in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time. Whether Dacthal causes cancer in humans is unknown. Dacthal damages the liver, kidneys, thyroid gland and lungs of laboratory animals exposed to high levels over their lifetimes.

The chemical formed from the degradation of Dacthal that is most frequently found in groundwater is tetrachloroterephthalic acid. Information on the health effects of tetrachloroterephthalic acid is limited. Tetrachloroterephthalic acid causes changes in the thyroid, adrenal and pituitary glands and in the ovaries of laboratory animals exposed to high levels for 90 days. Long term studies in animals to evaluate the cancer causing potential and other possible long term health effects of tetrachloroterephthalic acid have not been conducted.

The US EPA has not established drinking water standards for Dacthal or tetrachloroterephthalic acid. New York State has a standard of 50 μg/L for Dacthal and tetrachloroterephthalic acid in public water supplies.

Last revised

NYSDOH BTSA November, 1995

Dibromochloropropane

MHEL

Dibromochloropropane (also called DBCP) is a colorless, man-made gas that was once applied to soil to control pests on agricultural crops and commercial grass. Its use has not been allowed since 1977. Dibromochloropropane generally gets into drinking water by leaching into groundwater after application or improper waste disposal.

Dibromochloropropane damages the genetic material (genes) of animals and bacteria and causes cancer in many organs in mice and rats exposed to high levels over their lifetimes. Based on these data, dibromochloropropane is likely to cause cancer in humans exposed for long periods of time. Some men exposed to large amounts of dibromochloropropane in workplace air suffered reproductive system damage. Exposure to high levels of dibromochloropropane damages the reproductive system, liver, kidneys and adrenal glands of laboratory animals.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 12/93

1,2-Dichlorobenzene

MHEL

1,2-Dichlorobenzene (also called ortho-dichlorobenzene) is a colorless, man-made solid used as an intermediate (building block) in the manufacture of other chemicals such as dyes and herbicides and as a deodorizer of industrial wastewater. It is also found in some engine degreasers and paint removers. 1,2-Dichlorobenzene generally gets into drinking water by leaching into groundwater after improper waste disposal.

Some people exposed to large amounts of 1,2-dichlorobenzene have suffered liver and blood damage. Exposure to high levels of 1,2-dichlorobenzene damages the liver, kidneys and blood of laboratory animals. Chemicals that cause adverse health effects in humans and laboratory animals after high levels of exposure pose a risk of adverse health effects in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time.

Last revised

December 1993

1,4-Dichlorobenzene

MHEL

1,4-Dichlorobenzene (also called para-dichlorobenzene) is a colorless solid and a component of mothballs, deodorizers, and some pesticides. It generally gets into drinking water by improper waste disposal.

1,4-Dichlorobenzene causes cancer in laboratory animals exposed at high levels over their lifetimes. Chemicals that cause cancer in laboratory animals also may increase the risk of cancer in humans who are exposed to lower levels over long periods of time. Whether or not 1,4-dichlorobenzene causes cancer in humans is unknown. Some humans exposed to large amounts of this chemical have had nervous system and liver damage. Exposure to high concentrations of 1,4-dichlorobenzene causes damage to the liver, kidneys and nervous system of laboratory animals.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 3/1991

Dichlorodifluoromethane (Freon 12)

MHEL

Dichlorodifluoromethane (Freon 12) is a colorless, man-made gas. It was once widely used as an aerosol propellant but now it is used primarily as a refrigerant and as a foaming agent for plastic products.

Some people exposed to large amounts of dichlorodifluoromethane in workplace air had heart, lung, and central nervous system damage. Exposure to large amounts of dichlorodifluoromethane damaged the heart, liver, central nervous and respiratory systems, and possibly the kidneys of laboratory animals. Chemicals that cause adverse health effects in humans and laboratory animals may also pose a risk to humans who are exposed to lower levels over long periods of time.

October, 1991

1,1-Dichloroethane

MHEL

1,1-Dichloroethane is a colorless, man-made liquid that is used primarily in the production of other chemicals, and has also been used in products to remove paint, varnish, and grease. It is a breakdown product of 1,1,1-trichloroethane. 1,1-Dichloroethane can get into drinking water through improper disposal or the breakdown of other chemicals. There is limited information on the potential health effects of 1,1-dichloroethane following exposure by the oral route. The available studies report that exposure to high levels of 1,1-dichloroethane in air produced kidney damage in laboratory animals and has caused delayed growth in their offspring during pregnancy. There is also some evidence that 1,1-dichloroethane causes cancer in laboratory animals exposed to high levels over their lifetime. Chemicals that cause adverse health effects in laboratory animals after high levels of exposure may pose a risk for adverse health effects in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time.

Last Revised

NYSDOH 4/2010

1,2-Dichloroethane

MHEL

1,2-Dichloroethane is a clear, man-made liquid. It is used primarily to make vinyl chloride and solvents that remove grease, glue and dirt. This chemical can be found in some household cleaning agents, adhesives, pesticides and paint removers. 1,2-Dichloroethane is also added to leaded gasoline to prevent engine knock. It generally gets into drinking water from improper waste disposal.

1,2-Dichloroethane causes cancer in laboratory animals exposed to high levels over their lifetimes. Chemicals that cause cancer in laboratory animals also may increase the risk of cancer in humans who are exposed to lower levels over long periods of time. Whether or not 1,2-dichloroethane causes cancer in humans is unknown. Some humans exposed to large amounts of this chemical have had nervous system, liver, lung, kidney and heart damage. Exposure to high concentrations of 1,2-dichloroethane causes a decreased ability to fight infection in laboratory animals.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 3/1991

1,1-Dichloroethene

MHEL

1,1-Dichloroethene (also called 1,1-dichloroethylene) is a colorless, man-made liquid used to make food packaging, plastic materials, flame-retardant coatings for fabrics, fiber and carpet backing, and piping and coating for steel pipes. 1,1-Dichloroethene also forms in the groundwater when other common environmental contaminants, such as solvents (trichloroethene), break down. The solvents are used as cleaners and degreasers of metals and generally get into drinking water by improper waste disposal.

Humans exposed to high levels of 1,1-dichloroethene have had nervous system and liver damage. 1,1-Dichloroethene damages the liver, kidneys, lungs, heart and nervous system of laboratory animals exposed to high levels. Birth defects have been observed in the offspring of laboratory animals exposed to high levels of this chemical in air during pregnancy. 1,1-Dichloroethene causes cancer in laboratory animals exposed to high levels over their lifetimes. Whether or not it causes cancer in humans is unknown.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 3/1991

Cis-1,2-Dichloroethene

MHEL

Cis-1,2-dichloroethene (also called cis-1,2-dichloroethylene) is a colorless, man-made liquid used as a solvent and as an intermediate (building block) to make other chemicals. It is also a breakdown product of trichloroethene in the environment. Contamination of drinking water may occur if cis-1,2-dichloroethene or trichloroethene leaches into groundwater after improper waste disposal.

Some people exposed to large amounts of cis-1,2-dichloroethene suffered nervous system damage. Exposure of laboratory animals to high levels of cis-1,2-dichloroethene damages the liver, blood and the nervous system and possibly the immune system. Chemicals that cause adverse health effects in humans and laboratory animals after high levels of exposure pose a risk of adverse health effects in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 2/1999 gmr

Trans-1,2-Dichloroethene

MHEL

Trans-1,2-dichloroethene (also called trans-1,2-dichloroethylene) is a colorless, man-made liquid used as a solvent and as an intermediate (building block) to make other chemicals. It is also a breakdown product of trichloroethene in the environment. Contamination of drinking water may occur if trans-1,2-dichloroethene or trichloroethene leaches into groundwater after improper waste disposal.

Some people exposed to large amounts of trans-1,2-dichloroethene had adverse effects on the nervous system, such as nausea, drowsiness, fatigue and vertigo. Exposure of laboratory animals to high levels of trans-1,2-dichloroethene caused adverse effects on the liver and blood, and the nervous and immune systems. Chemicals that cause adverse health effects in humans and laboratory animals after high levels of exposure pose a risk of adverse health effects in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 2/1999

Dichloromethane

MHEL

Dichloromethane (also called methylene chloride) is a colorless, man-made liquid. Its major uses are as an industrial solvent, paint and varnish remover, and in the manufacture of photographic film. It is also a solvent frequently used in chemistry laboratories. People exposed to high levels of dichloromethane in air show effects much like those produced by alcohol. Prolonged exposures may cause changes in blood and liver and decreased responses to visual and auditory stimulation. Most of these effects usually disappear fairly rapidly after exposure stops. Exposure to high concentrations of dichloromethane causes liver and kidney damage and affects the blood of laboratory animals. Dichloromethane causes cancer in laboratory animals exposed to high concentrations over their lifetime. Chemicals that cause cancer in laboratory animals also may increase the risk of cancer in humans who are exposed to lower levels over long periods of time.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 6/90

1,2-Dichloropropane

MHEL

1,2-Dichloropropane is a colorless, man-made liquid used as a solvent, a soil fumigant and in the production of other chemicals.

Some people exposed to large amounts of 1,2-dichloropropane have experienced effects on the nervous system, blood and liver. Exposure to high concentrations of 1,2-dichloropropane has also damaged the liver, kidneys and adrenals of laboratory animals. 1,2-Dichloropropane causes cancer in laboratory animals exposed to high levels over their lifetimes. Chemicals that cause cancer in laboratory animals also may increase the risk of cancer in humans who are exposed to lower levels over long periods of time.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 6/90

Epichlorohydrin

MHEL

Epichlorohydrin is a colorless, man-made liquid used in the manufacture of a wide variety of products, including paper, resins, plastics, cellulose, paints, varnishes and nail enamel. It is also used to make chemicals that are added to drinking water supplies to remove unwanted particles. Epichlorohydrin may get into drinking water if small amounts of it remain in these chemicals.

Epichlorohydrin damages the genetic material (genes) of animals, plants, and bacteria and causes cancer in laboratory rats and mice exposed to high levels over their lifetimes. Based on these data, epichlorohydrin is likely to cause cancer in humans exposed for long periods of time. Some people exposed to large amounts of epichlorohydrin suffered liver and blood-cell damage. Exposure to high levels of epichlorohydrin damages the blood, liver, kidneys and male reproductive system of laboratory animals.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 12/93

Ethylbenzene

MHEL

Ethylbenzene is a colorless liquid that is used to make other chemicals, primarily styrene. It is also used as a solvent in the printing and paint industries, and can be found in pesticides, carpet glues, varnishes, tobacco products, gasoline, fuel oil, and other petroleum products. Ethylbenzene can get into drinking water from uncontrolled landfills, hazardous waste sites contaminated with petroleum products and solvents, or leaking underground fuel storage tanks. Information on the human health effects of ethylbenzene is limited. People exposed to elevated levels of ethylbenzene in air had effects on the nervous system such as dizziness and vertigo (i.e., the sensation of spinning). Laboratory animals exposed to high levels of ethylbenzene by inhalation or ingestion had adverse health effects on the nervous system, liver and kidneys. Inhalation exposure of laboratory animals to high levels of ethylbenzene during pregnancy resulted in adverse health effects on unborn offspring. Laboratory animals exposed by inhalation to high levels of ethylbenzene over their lifetimes had increased incidences of cancer. Whether or not ethylbenzene causes cancer in humans is unknown. Chemicals that cause adverse health effects in laboratory animals at high levels of exposure may also pose a risk of adverse health effects in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time.

Last Revised

NYSDOH 06/09

Ethylene Dibromide

MHEL

Ethylene dibromide (also called EDB) is a clear, colorless liquid that was once used as an additive to leaded gasoline and as a pesticide to control insects on many fruits, vegetables and grains. Leaded gasoline is no longer available and all major uses of ethylene dibromide as a pesticide were banned in 1983. It generally gets into drinking water by leaching into groundwater after crop application or improper waste disposal.

Ethylene dibromide damages the genetic material (genes) of animals, plants, and bacteria and causes cancer in many organs in mice and rats exposed to high levels over their lifetimes. Based on these data, ethylene dibromide is likely to cause cancer in humans exposed for long periods of time. Some humans exposed to large amounts of ethylene dibromide suffered liver and kidney damage. Exposure to high levels of ethylene dibromide damages the liver, kidneys, adrenal glands and the reproductive system of laboratory animals.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 12/93

Di(2-ethylhexyl) Phthalate

aka Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate or DEHP

MHEL

Di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate, or DEHP, is a man-made liquid chemical that has almost no odor. It is added to plastics to make them flexible, and is present in many plastic products, such as tablecloths, shower curtains, garden hoses, swimming pool liners, rainwear, dolls, packaging film and sheets, and medical tubing. DEHP gets into drinking water when it moves out of plastic products, or through improper waste disposal. Information on the health effects of DEHP in humans is limited. Laboratory animals exposed to high levels of DEHP had damage to the liver, the male reproductive organs and the developing fetus. Studies in young laboratory animals provide evidence that the developing male reproductive system may be particularly sensitive to the effects of DEHP. DEHP causes cancer in laboratory animals exposed to high levels for their lifetimes. Chemicals that cause cancer in laboratory animals at high levels of exposure may also increase the risk of cancer in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time. Whether or not DEHP causes cancer in humans is unknown.

Last Revised

NYSDOH 3/08

Heptachlor

MHEL

Heptachlor is a white-to-tan, man-made pesticide that was widely used to control agricultural and home/garden pests until most uses were banned in the mid-1970s. In New York State, heptachlor was used for the underground control of termites until that use was banned in 1987. Heptachlor generally gets into drinking water by runoff into surface water or by leaching into groundwater after application or improper waste disposal.

Heptachlor causes cancer in laboratory animals exposed to high levels over their lifetimes. Chemicals that cause cancer in laboratory animals may increase the risk of cancer in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time. Whether heptachlor causes cancer in humans is unknown. Exposure to high levels of heptachlor damages the nervous system, liver and kidneys of laboratory animals.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 12/93

Heptachlor Epoxide

MHEL

Heptachlor epoxide is a breakdown product of heptachlor, a man-made pesticide that was widely used to control agricultural and home/garden pests until most uses were banned in the mid-1970s. In New York State, heptachlor was used for the underground control of termites until that use was banned in 1987. Heptachlor epoxide can be formed by the breakdown of heptachlor by bacteria in the environment. It is also formed from heptchlor in the body. Heptachlor epoxide generally gets into drinking water by runoff into surface water or by leaching into groundwater after application or improper waste disposal.

Heptachlor epoxide causes cancer in laboratory animals exposed to high levels over their lifetimes. Chemicals that cause cancer in laboratory animals may increase the risk of cancer in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time. Whether heptachlor epoxide causes cancer in humans is unknown. Exposure to high levels of heptachlor epoxide damages the nervous system, liver and kidneys of laboratory animals.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 12/93

Hexachlorobenzene

MHEL

Hexachlorobenzene is a man-made, white crystalline solid formed as a by-product during the manufacture of chlorinated solvents and pesticides. It was used as a fungicide and pesticide until it was banned in 1986. There are no current commercial uses of hexachlorobenzene in the United States. Hexachlorobenzene generally gets into drinking water by improper waste disposal.

Hexachlorobenzene causes cancer in laboratory animals exposed at high levels over their lifetimes. Chemicals that cause cancer in laboratory animals also may increase the risk of cancer in humans who are exposed to lower levels over long periods of time. Whether or not hexachlorobenzene causes cancer in humans is unknown. Humans exposed to high levels of hexachlorobenzene have had blood, skin and liver disorders. Exposure to high concentrations of hexachlorobenzene causes liver and kidney damage, birth defects and effects on the skin, nervous system, reproductive system and immune system in laboratory animals.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 6/92

Hexachlorobutadiene

MHEL

Hexachlorobutadiene is a colorless, man-made liquid used as a solvent in chlorine gas production, as a hydraulic fluid, as a chemical intermediate (building block) in the manufacture of lubricants and rubber compounds, and as a pesticide. Hexachlorobutadiene generally gets into drinking water from improper waste disposal.

Hexachlorobutadiene damages the kidneys, liver and nervous system of laboratory animals exposed to high levels. Chemicals which cause adverse health effects in laboratory animals may also pose a risk of adverse health effects in humans who are exposed at lower levels over long periods of time. Hexachlorobutadiene causes cancer in laboratory animals exposed to high levels over their lifetimes. Whether or not it causes cancer in humans is unknown.

6/92

Hexachlorocyclopentadiene

MHEL

Hexachlorocyclopentadiene is a man-made, pale yellow or greenish yellow liquid with a unique, pungent odor. It is used as a chemical intermediate (building block) in the manufacture of chlorinated pesticides, flame-retardants, resins and dyes. It generally gets into drinking water by improper waste disposal.

Some industrial workers exposed to large amounts of hexachlorocyclopentadiene have experienced irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and skin. Hexachlorocyclopentadiene damages the lung, liver, kidney and adrenal glands of laboratory animals exposed to high levels. Chemicals which cause adverse health effects in exposed workers and laboratory animals may also pose a risk of adverse health effects in humans who are exposed at lower levels over long periods of time.

6/92

Lindane

MHEL

Lindane (also called gamma hexachlorocyclohexane (HCCH) or benzenehexachloride (BHC)) is a white, man-made pesticide that was once used to control insects and other pests on livestock, fruit, vegetable and forest crops. Most uses of lindane were stopped in the mid-1980s. It is still used to treat people with head and body lice and scabies, a skin disease caused by mites. Lindane generally gets into drinking water by runoff into surface water or by leaching into groundwater after application or improper waste disposal.

Lindane causes cancer in laboratory animals exposed to high levels over their lifetimes. Chemicals that cause cancer in laboratory animals may increase the risk of cancer in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time. Whether lindane causes cancer in humans is unknown. Some people exposed to large amounts of lindane suffered nervous system and blood damage. Exposure to high levels of lindane damages the liver and kidneys and the nervous, reproductive and immune systems of laboratory animals.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 12/93

Methoxychlor

MHEL

Methoxychlor is a pale yellow, man-made pesticide used to control insects on livestock and agricultural and forest crops. It generally gets into drinking water by runoff into surface water or by leaching into groundwater after application or improper waste disposal.

Exposure to high levels of methoxychlor damages the reproductive system of laboratory animals and the unborn offspring of laboratory animals exposed during pregnancy. Chemicals that cause adverse health effects in laboratory animals after high levels of exposure pose a risk of adverse health effects in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 12/93

Monochlorobenzene

MHEL

Monochlorobenzene (also called chlorobenzene) is a colorless, man-made liquid used as a solvent in resins, dyes, pesticides and perfumes, a degreasing agent and a chemical intermediate (building block) in the production of other chemicals. Monochlorobenzene generally gets into drinking water by leaching into groundwater after improper waste disposal.

Exposure to high levels of monochlorobenzene damages the liver, kidneys and blood-forming system of laboratory animals. Chemicals that cause adverse health effects in laboratory animals after high levels of exposure pose a risk of adverse health effects in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 12/93

MTBE

MHEL

MTBE is a colorless, manufactured liquid with a distinctive odor that most people find disagreeable. It was added to gasoline to increase oxygen and boost octane. MTBE can contaminate groundwater after a gasoline spill or from a leaking gasoline storage tank. When gasoline with MTBE enters groundwater, the MTBE spreads faster than other gasoline components and is often the first chemical that is detected. For this reason, MTBE is a reliable and early indicator of gasoline contamination in groundwater.

Data on the human health effects of MTBE are available from studies of people whose gallbladders were injected with MTBE to dissolve gallstones, and from studies of people exposed to MTBE while working at gas stations or driving cars fueled with gas containing MTBE. Information on side effects from treatment of gallstones and from studies of laboratory animals indicates that MTBE is not highly toxic following short-term exposure. Some persons who breathed MTBE from gasoline exposure have complained of headaches, nausea, dizziness, irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, and of feeling spacey or confusion. Studies with laboratory animals show that exposure to very high levels of MTBE affected the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, kidney, liver, and blood. Studies on pregnant rats and mice show that exposure to very high levels of MTBE altered the normal development of fetal and young rodents, but only at exposure levels that harmed the adult animals. Chemicals that cause adverse health effects in animals after high levels of exposure may pose a risk to humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time. Studies in laboratory animals that breathed or ingested high levels of MTBE over their lifetimes showed a slight increase in tumors. Whether exposure to MTBE causes tumors in humans is unknown.

Last Revised

NYSDOH 06/09

References

USGS investigation.

USGS NAWQA Human-Health Effects of MTBE: A Literature Summary.

Pentachlorophenol

MHEL

Pentachlorophenol is a white-to-tan, man-made pesticide that was once widely used to control bacteria, fungus, insects and other pests and as a wood preservative. Pentachlorophenol is no longer available to the general public, but is widely used by industry as a wood preservative for utility poles (powerline poles and fence posts, for example). It generally gets into drinking water by runoff into surface water or by leaching into groundwater after improper waste disposal.

Pentachlorophenol causes cancer in laboratory animals exposed to high levels over their lifetimes. Chemicals that cause cancer in laboratory animals may increase the risk of cancer in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time. Whether pentachlorophenol causes cancer in humans is unknown. Some people exposed to large amounts of pentachlorophenol have suffered liver and kidney damage. Exposure to high levels of pentachlorophenol damages the liver, kidneys and the reproductive system of laboratory animals.

12/93

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)

MHEL

PCBs are a large group of related man-made chemicals that were used in many commercial and electrical products until their manufacture was banned in the mid-1970s. They generally get into drinking water from improper waste disposal or from leaking submersible water pumps.

Some types of PCBs cause cancer in laboratory animals exposed to high levels over their lifetimes. Chemicals that cause cancer in laboratory animals may increase the risk of cancer in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time. Whether PCBs cause cancer in humans is unknown. Industrial workers exposed to large amounts of PCBs suffered skin damage; however, these workers were also exposed to other, more toxic chemicals that may have caused the skin effects. There may be a link between a mother's increased exposure to PCBs and effects on her child's birthweight and behavior. Exposure to high levels of PCBs damages skin, liver and the nervous, immune and reproductive systems of laboratory animals. It also reduces the birthweight and changes the behavior of offspring born to animals exposed before, during and after pregnancy. A few individual PCBs cause birth defects in offspring born to animals exposed to high levels during pregnancy.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 12/93

Styrene

MHEL

Styrene is a colorless, man-made liquid used to make plastics. Products made from styrene are used to remove unwanted minerals from drinking water supplies. Styrene generally gets into drinking water by leaching into groundwater after improper waste disposal.

Exposure to high levels of styrene damages the liver, kidneys and blood of laboratory animals. Chemicals that cause adverse health effects in laboratory animals after high levels of exposure pose a risk of adverse health effects in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time. There is conflicting evidence on whether styrene causes cancer in laboratory animals exposed to high levels over their lifetimes. Whether it causes cancer in humans is unknown.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 12/93

1,2,3,4-Tetrachlorobenzene

MHEL

1,2,3,4-Tetrachlorobenzene is a man-made, white crystalline solid used as a component in dielectric fluids and some fungicides. It generally gets into drinking water from improper waste disposal.

1,2,3,4-Tetrachlorobenzene causes damage to the liver and kidneys and effects on blood in laboratory animals exposed to high levels. An increased number of stillborns has been observed in laboratory animals exposed to high levels of this chemical during pregnancy. Chemicals which cause adverse health effects in laboratory animals may also pose a risk of adverse health effects in humans who are exposed at lower levels over long periods of time.

6/92

1,2,4,5-Tetrachlorobenzene

MHEL

1,2,4,5-Tetrachlorobenzene is a man-made, white solid used as a chemical intermediate (building block) in the manufacture of some herbicides, as a pesticide, in electric insulation and in moisture-resistant packing materials. It generally gets into drinking water from improper waste disposal.

Some industrial workers exposed to large amounts of 1,2,4,5-tetrachlorobenzene had chromosome damage. Exposure to high concentrations of 1,2,4,5-tetrachlorobenzene causes liver, kidney, and thyroid damage and effects on blood in laboratory animals. An increased number of stillborns has been observed in laboratory animals exposed to high levels of this chemical during pregnancy. Chemicals which cause adverse health effects in exposed workers and laboratory animals may also pose a risk of adverse health effects in humans who are exposed at lower levels over long periods of time.

6/92

Tetrachloroethene

aka PCE

MHEL

Tetrachloroethene (also called tetrachloroethylene or perchloroethylene) is a colorless man-made liquid used as a solvent for dry cleaning fabrics, for removing grease from metal, and as an intermediate (building block) in the manufacture of other chemicals. It is found in some consumer products such as paint and spot removers, water repellents, silicone lubricants, adhesives and wood cleaners. Tetrachloroethene generally gets into drinking water from improper waste disposal and from leaking storage sites.

Tetrachloroethene causes cancer in laboratory animals exposed to high levels over their lifetimes. Chemicals that cause cancer in laboratory animals also may increase the risk of cancer in people who are exposed to lower levels over long periods of time. Whether or not tetrachloroethene causes cancer in humans is unknown. People exposed to large amounts of this chemical in the workplace or from hobbies have had nervous system damage. Exposure to high concentrations of tetrachloroethene has also caused liver and kidney damage in laboratory animals.

Last Revised

7/92 (a NYSDOH BTSA 1998-02 revision and 5/07 revision also exist)

Toluene

MHEL

Toluene is a colorless liquid that is used to make other chemicals and is found in many consumer products such as paints, lacquers, adhesives, rubber, dyes and gasoline. Toluene generally gets into drinking water from improper waste disposal or leaking gasoline storage tanks.

Exposure to large amounts of toluene can damage the nervous system, liver and kidneys. High levels of toluene damage the unborn offspring of laboratory animals exposed during pregnancy. Chemicals that cause adverse health effects in humans and laboratory animals after high levels of exposure may also pose a risk of adverse health effects in humans who are exposed to lower levels over long periods of time.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 9/1992

Toxaphene

MHEL

Toxaphene is a yellow to tan, man-made pesticide that was once widely used to control insects on cotton, corn, soybeans, pineapple and other crops until most uses were banned in 1982. It generally gets into drinking water by runoff into surface water or by leaching into groundwater after application or improper waste disposal.

Toxaphene causes cancer in laboratory animals that were exposed to high levels over their lifetimes. Chemicals that cause cancer in laboratory animals may increase the risk of cancer in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time. Whether toxaphene causes cancer in humans is unknown. Some people exposed to large amounts of toxaphene suffered nervous system damage. Exposure to high levels of toxaphene damages the liver, kidneys and nervous system and immune systems of laboratory animals and the unborn offspring of laboratory animals exposed during pregnancy.

12/93

2,4,5-TP

MHEL

2,4,5-TP (also called silvex or 2-(2,4,6-trichlorophenoxy)propionic acid) is a white, man-made pesticide that was once widely used to control weeds and brush on rangeland, right-of-ways, pastures, commercial and ornamental grass and around the home. Currently, there are no allowed uses of 2,4,5-TP. It generally gets into drinking water by runoff into surface water or by leaching into groundwater after application or improper waste disposal.

Some industrial workers exposed to large amounts of 2,4,5-TP, related chemicals and their contaminants suffered nervous system damage. Exposure to high levels of 2,4,5-TP damages the liver and kidneys of laboratory animals. Chemicals that cause adverse health effects in workers and laboratory animals after high levels of exposure pose a risk of adverse health effects in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 12/93, an 8/95 version may exist

1,2,3-Trichlorobenzene

MHEL

1,2,3-Trichlorobenzene is a man-made, white crystalline solid used as a chemical intermediate (building block) in the manufacture of other chemicals and some herbicides. It is also used as a solvent, a dye carrier and as a dielectric fluid. 1,2,3-Trichlorobenzene generally gets into drinking water from improper waste disposal.

1,2,3-Trichlorobenzene damages the liver and thyroid of laboratory animals exposed to high levels. Chemicals which cause adverse health effects in laboratory animals may also pose a risk of adverse health effects in humans who are exposed at lower levels over long periods of time.

6/92

1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene

MHEL

1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene is a man-made, colorless liquid used as a chemical intermediate (building block) in the manufacture of some herbicides. It is also used as a dye carrier, a solvent and a dielectric fluid. 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene generally gets into drinking water from improper waste disposal.

1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene damages the liver, kidneys, thyroid, adrenals and nervous system in laboratory animals exposed to high levels. Chemicals which cause adverse health effects in laboratory animals may also pose a risk of adverse health effects in humans who are exposed at lower levels over long periods of time.

6/92

1,3,5-Trichlorobenzene

MHEL

1,3,5-Trichlorobenzene is a man-made, white crystalline solid. It is a component of some pesticides, dyes, solvents, lubricants, and electrical insulator coolants. 1,3,5-Trichlorobenzene generally gets into drinking water from improper waste disposal.

Exposure to high concentrations of 1,3,5-trichlorobenzene causes liver, kidney and thyroid damage in laboratory animals. Chemicals which cause adverse effects in laboratory animals may also pose a risk of adverse health effects in humans who are exposed at lower levels over long periods of time.

6/92

1,1,1-Trichloroethane

MHEL

1,1,1-Trichloroethane (also called methyl chloroform) is a colorless man-made liquid that is used primarily as a solvent for removing grease from metal. It has a variety of other solvent uses and is also used as a chemical intermediate (building block) in the production of other chemicals. 1,1,1-Trichloroethane generally gets into drinking water from improper waste disposal.

Some industrial workers exposed to large amounts of 1,1,1-trichloroethane have had nervous system, liver and cardiovascular system damage. Exposure to high concentrations of this chemical causes nervous system, liver and cardiovascular system damage in laboratory animals. Chemicals that cause adverse health effects in humans and laboratory animals after high levels of exposure may also pose a risk of adverse health effects in humans who are exposed to lower levels over long periods of time.

Trichloroethene

aka TCE

MHEL

Trichloroethene (also called trichloroethylene) is a colorless, man-made liquid which is used primarily as a solvent for removing grease from metal. It has a variety of other uses such as a dry cleaning solvent and as a chemical intermediate (building block) in the production of other chemicals. It generally gets into drinking water by improper waste disposal.

Trichloroethene causes cancer in laboratory animals exposed at high levels over their lifetimes. Chemicals that cause cancer in laboratory animals also may increase the risk of cancer in humans who are exposed to lower levels over long periods of time. Whether or not trichloroethene causes cancer in humans is unknown. Some humans exposed to large amounts of this chemical have had nervous system, liver and kidney damage. Exposure to high concentrations of trichloroethene causes liver and kidney damage and effects on the immune system and blood in laboratory animals.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 3/1991

In Air

NYSDOH Guidance from TCE_fact_sheets, August 11, 2015.

Trichlorofluoromethane (Freon 11)

MHEL

Trichlorofluoromethane (Freon-11) is a colorless, man-made liquid. It was once widely used as an aerosol propellant but now it is used primarily as a refrigerant, as a foaming agent for plastic products and as a solvent/degreasing agent in the aerospace and electronic industry.

Some people exposed to large amounts of trichlorofluoromethane in workplace air had heart, lung and central nervous system damage. Exposure to large amounts of trichlorofluoromethane damaged the heart, liver, kidneys and central nervous and respiratory systems of laboratory animals. Chemicals which cause adverse effects in humans and laboratory animals may also pose a risk to humans who are exposed to lower levels over long periods of time.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 10/91

2,4,5-Trichlorophenol

MHEL

2,4,5-Trichlorophenol is a man-made, gray crystalline solid. 2,4,5-Trichlorophenol has not been made in the United States since 1983. In the past, it was used as a chemical intermediate (building block) in the manufacture of several industrial and agricultural chemicals, and as a preservative for textiles, leather, rubber gaskets and adhesives. 2,4,5-Trichlorophenol generally gets into drinking water by improper waste disposal.

Some industrial workers exposed to large amounts of 2,4,5-trichlorophenol had skin damage. Exposure to high concentrations of 2,4,5-trichlorophenol causes liver and kidney damage and lowers body weight in laboratory animals. Chemicals which cause adverse health effects in exposed workers and laboratory animals may also pose a risk of adverse health effects in humans who are exposed at lower levels over long periods of time.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 6/92

1,1,2-Trichloro-1,2,2-Trifluoroethane (Freon 113)

MHEL

1,1,2-Trichloro-1,2,2-trifluoroethane (Freon-113) is a colorless, man-made liquid. It is used as a degreasing/cleaning solvent, as a refrigerant, as a building-block for other chemicals and as a foaming agent for plastic products.

Some people exposed to large amounts of 1,1,2-trichloro-1,2,2-trifluoroethane in workplace air had heart, lung and central nervous system damage. Exposure to large amounts of 1,1,2-trichloro-1,2,2-trifluoroethane damaged the heart, liver, kidneys, the central nervous and respiratory systems, and possibly the thyroid gland of laboratory animals. Chemicals which cause adverse effects in humans and laboratory animals may also pose a risk to humans who are exposed to lower levels over long periods of time.

Last Revised

NYSDOH BTSA 10/91

Trihalomethanes - old

MHEL

Trihalomethanes (THM's) are members of a group of organic chemicals that contain a single carbon atom, one hydrogen atom, and three atoms of either chlorine, bromine, or iodine, or a combination of their atoms. Of the many possible trihalomethanes, there are four that are prevalent in water supplies. They are: chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane, and bromoform. The total trihalomethane (TTHM) concentration is the sum of the concentrations of these four regulated THM's.

Trihalomethanes
Chloroform Bromodichloromethane Bromoform Dibromochloromethane
Chloroform Bromodichloromethane Bromoform Dibromochloromethane
Trihalomethanes can be formed by the reaction of free chlorine with naturally occurring organic matter (precursors) in raw water. Factors that influence THM formation include the amount of precursors present, pH, temperature and treatment processes used.

Chloroform, which is generally the THM found in the highest concentration, has been determined to be a carcinogen (cancer causing agent) in laboratory mice and rats. Therefore, chloroform is a potential human carcinogen although human studies to date have been inconclusive. Chloroform is known to cause liver damage following chronic exposure to high levels. The chemical similarities of the THM's suggest the possibility they all may be hazardous to health.

The potential human carcinogenicity of chloroform raises the possibility that an individual's risk of developing cancer will be increased by the long-term consumption of drinking water containing an elevated level of THM's. The risk of liver damage is also increased. It must be realized, however, that each person's susceptibility will vary depending on their general health, occupation, genetic history, use of alcohol and other drugs, smoking, nutritional habits, socioeconomic status as well as the ability of each person to deal with all the stresses placed upon them.

The standard established in Part 5 of the State Sanitary Code for THM's is 0.10 milligrams per liter (mg/l). Compliance is determined from results of quarterly sampling on a running annual average basis. The Department of Health policy is that production of THM's should be minimized to the greatest degree practical while maintaining disinfection benefits.

Preventative Measures

The level of exposure to THM's is relatively low. The New York State and Dutchess County Departments of Health are not recommending that you stop drinking or using the water. However, some people may wish to take certain practical measures which will reduce their exposure. Since the chemical tends to evaporate into the air, use of kitchen or bathroom exhaust fans when using water will reduce the levels of the chemical in the air in your home. Use of less water for bathing or cleaning will reduce exposure through breathing the vapors and through skin contact. Other individuals may choose to use bottled water for drinking and cooking purposes or install point of use treatment devices.

References

From state fact sheet (9/29/1986) and Staatsburg notice.

See also Disinfection Byproducts and Treatment Techniques and the newer Total Trihalomethanes in the Disinfection Byproducts section.

Vinyl Chloride

MHEL

Vinyl chloride is a man-made colorless gas. It is used primarily to make polyvinyl chloride, a material used to manufacture a variety of plastic and vinyl products including pipes, wire and cable coatings, packaging materials, furniture and automobile upholstery, wall coverings, housewares, and automotive parts. It is also used in the manufacture of other industrial chemicals. In the past, vinyl chloride was used as a refrigerant gas, as a aerosol propellant, and as an extraction solvent for heat-sensitive materials. Vinyl chloride generally gets into drinking water through improper waste disposal and the breakdown of other chemicals, such as trichloroethene, tetrachloroethene, and 1,1,1-trichloroethane.

Vinyl chloride is associated with an increased risk of cancer among industrial workers who were exposed to elevated levels in air over long periods of time, and is considered a human carcinogen by health agencies. Vinyl chloride also causes cancer in laboratory animals exposed to high levels of the chemical over their lifetimes. Chemicals that cause cancer among exposed industrial workers and laboratory animals are believed to increase the risk of cancer in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time. Workers exposed to elevated levels of vinyl chloride for long periods of time also had adverse effects on the liver and central nervous system.

Last Revised

NYSDOH 3/08

Xylene

MHEL

Xylene is a colorless flammable liquid used as a solvent in the printing, rubber, leather, paint and insecticide industries. It is also found in gasoline and is used to make other chemicals. Xylene generally gets into drinking water from leaking gasoline storage tanks or through improper waste disposal.

People exposed to large amounts of xylene in air had adverse effects on the nervous system, liver and kidney. High levels of xylene causes adverse effects on the nervous system, liver and kidneys of laboratory animals, and damages the unborn offspring of laboratory animals exposed during pregnancy. Chemicals that cause adverse health effects in humans and laboratory animals after high levels of exposure may also pose a risk of adverse health effects in humans who are exposed to lower levels over long periods of time.

Last Revised

NYSDOH 3/08

Turbidity (2)

Turbidity

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) set drinking water standards and have determined that turbidity is of health concern at certain levels of exposure. The turbidity, or cloudiness of drinking water is a measure of minute particles in the water which demonstrates the following:

1. That the source water is of poor quality.

2. That there could be an interference with disinfection.

3. That the filtering system is not performing in an acceptable manner.

4. That there could be interference in microbiological determinations.

5. That disease-causing organisms could survive.

The EPA and NYSDOH have set enforceable drinking water standards for turbidity at less than 0.5 Nephelometric turbidity units (NTU) in 95% of the monthly samples. Also the filtered water turbidity shall never exceed 5.0 NTU. Drinking water which meets the standard is associated with little or no risk and should be considered safe.

By DCHD

MHEL

Turbidity alone has no health effects. But it can interfere with disinfection, allow harmful microbes to grow, and may indicate the presence of harmful microbes, including bacteria, viruses, and parasites. These can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms and may pose a special health risk for infants, some elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems. But these symptoms are not just caused by microbes in drinking water. If you experience any of these symptoms and they persist, you should seek medical advice.

Last Revised

From 2011 NYSDOH BWN template

Surface Water Treatment Rule Treatment Technique Violation

Problem Explanation Boiler Plate

Recent severe weather in upstate areas has resulted in deteriorated raw river water quality, including high turbidity measurements, at the raw water intake to the PWSNAME drinking water treatment plant. Because of the poor water quality, the PWSNAME's filters have not been able to consistently reduce turbidity to acceptable State standards. Increased turbidity can indicate an increased risk of contamination from microbiological contaminants, such as bacteria and protozoans, including Giardia lamblia and Cryptosporidium. The PWSNAME water plant operators, with the assistance of State staff, are continuing to evaluate treatment options to correct the problem as expeditiously as possible. - adapted from a 1996 notice

See also WSP 45 for additional problem explanation options.
NYSDOH risk advice pamphlet.

MHEL

The New York State Department of Health sets drinking water standards and has determined that the presence of microbiological contaminants is a health concern at certain levels of exposure. If water is inadequately treated, microbiological contaminants in that water may cause disease. Disease symptoms may include diarrhea, cramps, nausea, and possibly jaundice, and any associated headaches and fatigue. These symptoms, however, are not just associated with disease-causing organisms in drinking water but may be caused by a number of factors other than your drinking water. The New York State Department of Health has set enforceable requirements for treating drinking water to reduce the risk of these adverse health effects. Treatments, such as filtration and disinfection, remove or destroy microbiological contaminants.

From Technical Reference PWS 45 April 7, 1993 (currently known as WSP 45 TR 2007-08-06)

See also Cryptosporidium

Preventative Measures

In some cases boiling water or otherwise treating the water may be recommended. See Microbiological for standard boil and treat language.

Microbiological (4)

See also Notices in templtaa2.doc (2003-01-07) from NYSDOH and EHM item TR PWS22.
More NYSDOH Boil Water info.
Maybe check the USEPA's RTCR Templates and Guidance.

Total Coliform

MHEL

The New York State Department of Health sets drinking water standards and has determined that the presence of total coliform (coliform bacteria) is a possible health concern. Total coliform are common in the environment and are generally not harmful themselves. The presence of these bacteria in drinking water, however, generally is a result of a problem with water treatment or the pipes which distribute the water, and indicates that the water may be contaminated with organisms that can cause disease. Disease symptoms may include diarrhea, cramps, nausea and possibly jaundice and any associated headaches and fatigue. These symptoms, however, are not just associated with disease-causing organisms in drinking water, but also may be caused by a number of factors other than your drinking water. The New York State Department of Health has set an enforceable drinking water standard for total coliform to reduce the risk of these adverse health effects. Under this standard, a system may have no more than one sample containing these bacteria. Drinking water which meets this standard is usually not associated with a health risk form disease-causing bacteria.

Preventative Measures

For a total coliform violation or E. coli violations that do not require a boil water notice:

In order to insure that disease causing organisms do not exist in your drinking water you may boil the water for at least two minutes, or you may add two drops of bleach disinfectant such as "Clorox" or add four drops of tincture of iodine to 1 gallon of water and let stand 30 minutes before using. Another alternative is to drink bottled water. Individuals that have symptoms described in the above notice may wish to seek medical attention. This is not a "Boil Water Notice" but a notice of concern so that you can take prudent steps to protect your health until the problem has been solved.

E. Coli

MHEL

The New York State Department of Health sets drinking water standards and has determined that the presence of E. coli is a serious health concern. E. coli are generally not harmful themselves, but their presence in drinking water is serious because they usually are associated with sewage or animal wastes. The presence of these bacteria in drinking water is generally a result of a problem with water treatment or the pipes which distribute the water, and indicates that the water may be contaminated with organisms that can cause disease. Disease symptoms may include diarrhea, cramps, nausea, and possibly jaundice, and associated headaches and fatigue. These symptoms, however, are not just associated with disease-causing organisms in drinking water, but also may be caused by a number of factors other than your drinking water. The New York State Department of Health has set an enforceable drinking water standard for E. coli to reduce the risk of these adverse health effects. Under this standard all drinking water samples must be free of these bacteria. Drinking water which meets this standard is associated with little or none of this risk and should be considered safe. State and local health authorities recommend that consumers take the following precautions.

or (from 2011 NYSDOH BWN template):

The presence of Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. Harmful microbes in these wastes, including E. coli, can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. These may pose a special health risk for infants, some elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems. But these symptoms are not just caused by harmful microbes in drinking water. If you experience any of these symptoms and they persist, you should seek medical advice.

Preventative Measures

For situations involving E. coli violations as described above, the notice should include the recommendation to boil water or take alternative actions:

from 2011-07-20 NYSDOH E. coli Boil Water Notice referenced by WSP-22

Bring tap water to a rolling boil, boil for one minute, and cool before using. Or use bottled water certified for sale by the New York State Department of Health. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, washing dishes, brushing teeth, and preparing food until further notice.

from older guidance

All tap water for human consumption should be boiled for at least two minutes, or add two drops of liquid bleach disinfectant such as "Clorox" or four drops of tincture of iodine to one gallon of water, and let stand for 30 minutes before drinking. Another alternative is to drink bottled water. Individuals who have symptoms described in the above Boil Water Notice may wish to seek medical attention. Please take the above steps to protect your health until further notice.

Cryptosporidium

MHEL

These protozoans are common in natural waters in our State. Ingesting them in a large enough dose can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. This may pose a special health risk for infants, some elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems. But these symptoms are not just caused by microbes in drinking water. If you experience any of these symptoms and they persist, you should seek medical advice.

Last Revised

From 2011 NYSDOH BWN template

Repeated Failure to Sample

We are required to monitor the source of your drinking water for Cryptosporidium. Results of the monitoring are to be used to determine whether water treatment at the (treatment plant name) is sufficient to adequately remove Cryptosporidium from your drinking water. We are required to complete this monitoring and make this determination by (required bin determination date). We “did not monitor or test” or “did not complete all monitoring or testing” on schedule, and therefore, we may not be able to determine by the required date what treatment modifications, if any, shall be made to ensure adequate Cryptosporidium removal. Missing this deadline may, in turn, jeopardize our ability to have the required treatment modifications, if any, completed by the deadline required, (date). For more information, please call (name of water system contact) of (name of water system) at (phone number).

Last Revised

From 2017 NYSDOH proposed Part 5-1 changes.

Failure to determine bin classification or mean level

Cryptosporidium level: We are required to monitor the source of your drinking water for Cryptosporidium in order to determine by (date) whether water treatment at the (treatment plant name) is sufficient to adequately remove Cryptosporidium from your drinking water. We have not made this determination by the required date. Our failure to do this may jeopardize our ability to have the required treatment modifications, if any, completed by the required deadline of (date). For more information, please call (name of water system contact) of (name of water system) at (phone number).

Last Revised

From 2017 NYSDOH proposed Part 5-1 changes.

Advice

Advisory for the Immunocompromised

The Health Department believes that the risk of waterborne disease is low. However, because cryptosporidiosis can be a severe disease in immunocompromised persons, such individuals may want to consider, in consultation with their health care provider, extra precautions to minimize their risk of infection. Precautions may include boiling their drinking water for at least two minutes, purchasing bottled water supplied from a groundwater source and certified for sale by the New York State Department of Health, or utilizing home water filters certified for cyst removal by the National Sanitation Foundation. Examples of immunocompromised persons include individuals with HIV/AIDS, patients receiving cancer treatment, recipients of organ or bone marrow transplants, patients with Crohn's disease, patients on high dose steroids, and persons with congenital immunodeficiencies.

See also SWTR Treatment Technique Violation

Annual Water Supply Statement

New York State law requires water suppliers to notify their customers about the risks of cryptosporidiosis and giardiasis. Cryptosporidiosis and giardiasis are intestinal illnesses caused by microscopic parasites. Cryptosporidiosis can be very serious for people with weak immune systems, such as chemotherapy, dialysis or transplant patients, and people with Crohn's disease or HIV infection. People with weakened immune systems should discuss with their health care providers the need to take extra precautions such as boiling water, using a certified bottled water or specially approved home filter. Individuals who think they may have cryptosporidiosis or giardiasis should contact their health care provider immediately.

Preventative Measures

Dishes and dishwasher-safe toys may be washed in a commercial dishwasher that has a dry cycle or a final rinse that exceeds 113 °F for 20 minutes or 122 °F for 5 minutes or 162 °F for 1 minute. Cloth toys may be washed and heat-dried in a clothes dryer for 30 minutes. - from CDC WGWC manual 1997

Algal Toxins

Advisory

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today issued health advisory values that states and utilities can use to protect Americans from elevated levels of algal toxins in drinking water. Algal blooms in rivers, lakes, and bays sometimes produce harmful toxins. Because utilities often use these water bodies as sources of drinking water, EPA has determined algal toxin levels in tap water that are protective of human health based on the best available science.

The health advisory values for algal toxins recommend 0.3 micrograms per liter for microcystin and 0.7 micrograms per liter for cylindrospermopsin as levels not to be exceeded in drinking water for children younger than school age. For all other ages, the health advisory values for drinking water are 1.6 micrograms per liter for microcystin and 3.0 micrograms per liter for cylindrospermopsin. Potential health effects from longer exposure to higher levels of algal toxins in drinking water include gastroenteritis and liver and kidney damage. The health advisory values are based on exposure for 10 days. While briefly exceeding these advisory levels may not indicate an immediate emergency, EPA recommends utilities use treatment techniques to lower levels as quickly as possible. Steps that can protect the public from algal toxins in drinking water include:
· Watching for harmful algal blooms in water bodies used as a source of drinking water.
· Monitoring source water and drinking water for detections of algal toxins.
· Treating drinking water as necessary to reduce and remove algal toxins.
· Notifying the public that younger than school age children should not drink or boil the water if levels are above 0.3 micrograms per liter for microcystin and 0.7 micrograms per liter for cylindrospermopsin.
· Notifying the public that no one should drink or boil the water if levels are above 1.6 micrograms per liter for microcystin and 3.0 micrograms per liter for cylindrospermopsin.

Last Revised

From 2015-05-06 EPA Health Advisory

Radionuclides (5)

Gross Alpha

MHEL

Certain minerals are radioactive and may emit a form of radiation known as alpha radiation. Some people who drink water containing alpha emitters in excess of the MCL over many years may have an increased risk of getting cancer.

Last Revised

EPA November 8, 2006. From 40CFR141 "Alpha emitters"

Beta and photon emitters

MHEL

Certain minerals are radioactive and may emit forms of radiation known as photons and beta radiation. Some people who drink water containing beta and photon emitters in excess of the MCL over many years may have an increased risk of getting cancer.

Last Revised

EPA. From 40CFR141

Previous Proposal

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets drinking water standards and has determined that beta and photon emitting radionuclides may be of health concern at certain levels of exposure. Beta and photon emitters are primarily man-made radioactive contaminants associated with the operation of nuclear power facilities, facilities using radioactive materials for research or manufacturing, or facilities where these materials are disposed. Some beta emitters are naturally occurring. Beta and photon emitters are expected to occur primarily in surface water. Beta and photon emitters are believed to cause in humans at high exposure levels because they emit ionizing radiation. At lower levels, the risk of cancer is reduced. EPA has set the drinking water standard for beta and photon emitters in public water supplies at 4 (Proposed Standard) millirems effective dose equivalent per year (mrem ede/yr) to protect against cancer risk. Drinking water that meets the EPA standard is associated with little of this risk and is considered safe for Beta and photon emitters.

Radium Combined

MHEL

Some people who drink water containing radium 226 or 228 in excess of the MCL over many years may have an increased risk of getting cancer.

Last Revised

EPA November 8, 2006. From 40CFR141

Other

Like any other metal such as lead, copper, etc., radium does not pose any health risk by inhalation. It does not volatilize. It is not absorbed through skin either. As far as radiation is concerned, radium is mainly an alpha particle emitter. Alpha particles are very reactive so they can be stopped by pretty much anything, air, water, skin, etc and can not travel far. Most alpha particles released by radium will disappear before it is inhaled. Skin will effectively stop all alpha particles as well. Hence, there is no health effect languages for radium by inhalation or dermal contact.

Last Revised

NYSDOH 2008-10-06 Dr. Min-Sook Kim, Ph.D., P.E.

Uranium

MHEL

Some people who drink water containing uranium in excess of the MCL over many years may have an increased risk of getting cancer and kidney toxicity.

Last Revised

EPA. From 40CFR141

Radon (Proposed)

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets drinking water standards and has determined that radon is of health concern at certain levels of exposure. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive contaminant that occurs in ground water. It is a gas, and is released from water into the household air during water use. Radon has been found in epidemiology studies to cause lung cancer in humans at high exposure levels; at lower exposure levels the risk of lung cancer is reduced. EPA has set the drinking water standard for radon in public water supplies at 300 (Proposed Standard) picocuries per liter (pCi/l) to protect against lung cancer risk. Drinking water that meets the EPA standard is associated with little of this risk and is considered safe for radon.

Miscellaneous (2)

Potassium Permanganate (Draft)

Potassium Permanganate (also written as KMnO4) is typically used in water supply treatment plants to oxidize soluble iron and manganese to insoluble precipitates for removal by filtration, and for taste and odor and zebra mussel control. Under normal operations the finished water contains no residual potassium permanganate. Any residual of this chemical will turn the water pink (0.25mg/l) to dark pink (10 mg/l) to purple (1%) in color depending on the concentration; the darker the color the stronger the concentration. A malfunction at a water treatment plant can result in this chemical being present in the finished water. This is immediately noticeable due to the pink to purple color of the water. The presence of this chemical in the finished water is usually of a short term nature, however, certain precautions should be taken until the chemical is flushed out of the system and the water returns to normal.

The basic precaution to take is not to drink or consume the water that has a 'pink' color to it; bottled water can be used as a temporary supply. Dermal contact should also be avoided, especially if the water is highly colored. These same precautions would apply to animals and fish. Staining and fabric damage may occur to laundry; vegetation can also be damaged. Some specific information is as follows: a fatal oral dose in a 175 pound man is 0.5 gallons of a 5% solution on an empty stomach, concentrations of more than 200 mg/l may cause tissue damage, lower concentrations will dry out membranes in the eye, mouth and throat.

The chemical is removed by flushing out the distribution system. The water department will be flushing hydrants, customers should flush their own plumbing system. A brown discoloration may persist for a few days especially for those customers on a dead end water main.

Last Revised

May 6, 1996

Surface Water Treatment Rule

See Turbidity and Microbiological