EPA Drinking Water Contaminant Fact Sheet
Name of
Contaminant
Maximum Contaminant Level Allowed Potential Health Effects from Ingestion of Water Sources of Contaminants in Drinking Water
Arsenic 0.05 ppm Skin damage; circulatory system problems; increased risk of cancer Discharge from semiconductor manufacturing; petroleum refining; wood preservatives; animal feed additives; herbicides; erosion of natural deposits
Copper 1.3 ppm Short term exposure: Gastrointestinal distress.
Long term exposure: Liver or kidney damage.
Those with Wilson's Disease should consult their personal doctor if their water systems exceed the copper action level
Corrosion of household plumbing systems; erosion of natural deposits; leaching from wood preservatives
Iron * 0.3 ppm * Unpleasant taste, brownish color, staining of household fixtures Corrosion of household plumbing systems; erosion of natural deposits
Lead 0.015 ppm Infants and children: Delays in physical or mental development. Adults: Kidney problems; high blood pressure Corrosion of household plumbing systems; erosion of natural deposits
Chloride * 250 ppm * Unpleasant taste Naturally occurring mineral
Fluoride 4.0 ppm Bone disease (pain and tenderness of the bones); Children may get mottled teeth Water additive which promotes strong teeth; erosion of natural deposits; discharge from fertilizer and aluminum factories
Nitrate (measured as Nitrogen) 10 ppm "Blue baby syndrome" in infants under six months - life threatening without immediate medical attention. Symptoms: Infant looks blue and has shortness of breath Runoff from fertilizer use; leaching from septic tanks, sewage; erosion of natural deposits
Nitrite (measured as Nitrogen) 1 ppm "Blue baby syndrome" in infants under six months - life threatening without immediate medical attention. Symptoms: Infant looks blue and has shortness of breath Runoff from fertilizer use; leaching from septic tanks, sewage; erosion of natural deposits
Sulfate * 250 ppm * Diarrhea Naturally occurring mineral
Total Coliforms Zero (0) Used as an indicator that other potentially harmful bacteria may be present Human and animal fecal waste
E.Coli Zero (0) Diarrhea, nausea, headaches or other symptoms Human and animal fecal waste
Benzene 0.005 ppm Anemia; decrease in blood platelets; increased risk of cancer Discharge from factories; leaching from gas storage tanks and landfills
Carbon Tetrachloride 0.005 ppm Liver problems; increased risk of cancer Discharge from chemical plants and other industrial activities
o-Dichlorobenzene 0.6 ppm Liver, kidney or circulatory system problems Discharge from industrial chemical factories
p-Dichlorobenzene 0.075 ppm Anemia; liver, kidney or spleen damage; changes in blood Discharge from industrial chemical factories
1,2-Dichloroethane 0.005 ppm Increased risk of cancer Discharge from industrial chemical factories
1-1-Dichloroethylene 0.007 ppm Liver problems Discharge from industrial chemical factories
cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene 0.07 ppm Liver problems Discharge from industrial chemical factories
trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene 0.1 ppm Liver problems Discharge from industrial chemical factories
Dichloromethane 0.005 ppm Liver problems; increased risk of cancer Discharge from pharmaceutical and chemical factories
1-2-Dichloropropane 0.005 ppm Increased risk of cancer Discharge from industrial chemical factories
Ethylbenzene 0.7 ppm Liver or kidney problems Discharge from petroleum refineries
Styrene 0.1 ppm Liver, kidney and circulatory problems Discharge from rubber and plastic factories; leaching from landfills
Toluene 1 ppm Nervous system, kidney or liver problems Discharge from petroleum factories
Total Trihalomethanes 0.10 ppm Liver, kidney or central nervous system problems; increased risk of cancer Byproduct of drinking water disinfection
1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene 0.07 ppm Changes in adrenal glands Discharge from textile finishing factories
1,1,1-Trichloroethane 0.2 ppm Liver, nervous system or circulatory problems Discharge from metal degreasing sites and other factories
1,1,2-Trichloroethane 0.005 ppm Liver, kidney or immune system problems Discharge from industrial chemical factories
Trichloroethylene 0.005 ppm Liver problems; increased risk of cancer Discharge from petroleum refineries
Vinyl chloride 0.002 ppm Increased risk of cancer Leaching from PVC pipes; discharge from plastic factories
Xylenes (total) 10 ppm Nervous system damage Discharge from petroleum factories; discharge from chemical factories


* Secondary Standard: These contaminants pose minor health issues, or affect the water's color, odor, or taste. They do not cause serious health problems.
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