EWG Releases Report on TCE

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has posted a new report on trichloroethylene (TCE) in drinking water across the US.  The data on TCE occurrence comes from EWG’s comprehensive drinking water results database.  According to EWG, there were over 300 water systems reporting TCE in 2015, the most recent results in the database.  In half these systems, TCE values were above Minnesota’s health-based guideline for TCE in drinking water of 0.4 ppb, which EWG used as their limit for safe drinking water.  The enforceable Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for TCE is 5 ppb.  EWG is concerned about EPA backing off on a plan to ban major uses of TCE under their Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) authority.  According to the group, EPA is bowing to pressure from the chemical industry.  EWG is also concerned that EPA’s review of TCE under the recently revised TSCA is missing important exposure pathways.

From the EWG webpage, the public can directly query the tap water database to learn about the quality of their drinking water.  EWG also discusses treatment and other methods consumers can take to reduce their exposure to TCE.  There are links there to guide the consumer through the process of selecting appropriate treatment devices.