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How do Water contaminants relate to health effects?

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Disinfectants

Contaminant MRDL1mg/L)2 Potential Health Effects from Ingestion of Water Sources of Contaminant in Drinking Water
Chloramines (as Cl2) MRDL=4.01 Eye/nose irritation; stomach discomfort, anemia Water additive used to control microbes
Chlorine (as Cl2) MRDL=4.01

Eye/nose irritation; stomach discomfort

Water additive used to control microbes

Chlorine dioxide (as ClO2) MRDL=0.81

Anemia; infants & young children: nervous system effects

Water additive used to control microbes

 

Inorganic Chemicals

Contaminant MCL or TT1(mg/L)2 Potential Health Effects from Ingestion of Water Sources of Contaminant in Drinking Water
Antimony 0.006 Increase in blood cholesterol; decrease in blood sugar Discharge from petroleum refineries; fire retardants; ceramics; electronics; solder
Arsenic 0.010
as of 01/23/06

Skin damage or problems with circulatory systems, and may have increased risk of getting cancer

Erosion of natural deposits; runoff from orchards, runoff from glass & electronicsproduction wastes

Asbestos
(fiber >10 micrometers)
7 MFL

Increased risk of developing benign intestinal polyps

Decay of asbestos cement in water mains; erosion of natural deposits

Barium 2

Increase in blood pressure

Discharge of drilling wastes; discharge from metal refineries; erosion of natural deposits

Beryllium 0.004

Intestinal lesions

Discharge from metal refineries and coal-burning factories; discharge from electrical, aerospace, and defense industries

Cadmium 0.005

Kidney damage

Corrosion of galvanized pipes; erosion of natural deposits; discharge from metal refineries; runoff from waste batteries and paints

Chromium (total) 0.1

Allergic dermatitis

Discharge from steel and pulp mills; erosion of natural deposits

Copper TT8;
Action Level=1.3

Short term exposure: Gastrointestinal distress

Long term exposure: Liver or kidney damage

People with Wilson's Disease should consult their personal doctor if the amount of copper in their water exceeds the action level

Corrosion of household plumbing systems; erosion of natural deposits

Cyanide (as free cyanide) 0.2

Nerve damage or thyroid problems

Discharge from steel/metal factories; discharge from plastic and fertilizer factories

Fluoride 4.0

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

Lead TT8;
Action Level=0.015

Infants and children: Delays in physical or mental development; children could show slight deficits in attention span and learning abilities

Adults: Kidney problems; high blood pressure

Corrosion of household plumbing systems; erosion of natural deposits

Mercury (inorganic) 0.002

Kidney damage

Erosion of natural deposits; discharge from refineries and factories; runoff from landfills and croplands

Nitrate (measured as Nitrogen) 10

Infants below the age of six months who drink water containing nitrate in excess of the MCL could become seriously ill and, if untreated, may die. Symptoms include shortness of breath and blue-baby syndrome.

Runoff from fertilizer use; leaching from septic tanks, sewage; erosion of natural deposits

Nitrite (measured as Nitrogen) 1

Infants below the age of six months who drink water containing nitrite in excess of the MCL could become seriously ill and, if untreated, may die. Symptoms include shortness of breath and blue-baby syndrome.

Runoff from fertilizer use; leaching from septic tanks, sewage; erosion of natural deposits

Selenium 0.05

Hair or fingernail loss; numbness in fingers or toes; circulatory problems

Discharge from petroleum refineries; erosion of natural deposits; discharge from mines

Thallium 0.002

Hair loss; changes in blood; kidney, intestine, or liver problems

Leaching from ore-processing sites; discharge from electronics, glass, and drug factories

 

Radionuclides

Contaminant MCL or TT1
(mg/L)2
Potential Health Effects from Ingestion of Water Sources of Contaminant in Drinking Water
Alpha particles 15 picocuries per Liter (pCi/L)

Increased risk of cancer

Erosion of natural deposits of certain minerals that are radioactive and may emit a form of radiation known as alpha radiation

Beta particles and photon emitters 4 millirems per year

Increased risk of cancer

Decay of natural and man-made deposits of

certain minerals that are radioactive and may emit forms of radiation known as photons and beta radiation

Radium 226 and Radium 228 (combined) 5 pCi/L

Increased risk of cancer

Erosion of natural deposits

Uranium

30 ug/L
as of 12/08/03

Increased risk of cancer, kidney toxicity Erosion of natural deposits

 

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