Inorganic Chemical Contaminants
                                                                   Human Health Effects
                                                                                                                                                9-22-2007

EPA Office of Water (sludge biosolids and reclaimed water) generally claim a lack of data for human exposure
to  chemicals in sludge biosolids and reclaimed water, even though EPA published a list of
cancer causing
chemicals to be found in sludge biosolids in 1989.  In spite of the documented evidence for potential public
health damage, EPA ignored these known cancer causing chemicals in its risk assessment. In 1995, EPA
claimed none of the inorganic chemicals caused cancer in its
sludge risk assessment. However, the
Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
(ATSDR) show
the chemicals can be very dangerous to humans. Even the EPA Office of Drinking water documents that these
inorganic chemical contaminants can cause tremendous public health damage at very small MCL dose exposure.

Both EPA  Offices ignore part of the List of 18 Hazardous Inorganic Constituents in
Appendix II to Part 258  
and DESIGNATION OF HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES in Part 116  and CERCLA even though Part 503.9(t)
assures the public exposure to the inorganic chemical pollutants could cause death, disease cancer
etc.

EPA Office of Drinking Water  Maximum Contaminant Level Goals (MCL) /
with health effects of inorganic chemicals in drinking water.

Fluoride. Many communities add fluoride to their drinking water to promote dental health. Each community
makes its own decision about whether or not to add fluoride. EPA has set an enforceable drinking water
standard for fluoride of
4 mg/L (some people who drink water containing fluoride in excess of this level over
many years could get bone disease, including pain and tenderness of the bones). EPA has also set a
secondary fluoride standard of
2 mg/L to protect against dental fluorosis. Dental fluorosis, in its moderate or
severe forms, may result in a brown staining and/or pitting of the permanent teeth. This problem occurs only in
developing teeth, before they erupt from the gums. Children under nine should not drink water that has more
than
2 mg/L of fluoride.
http://www.epa.gov/safewater/hfacts.html

What are the Health Effects?

Antimony
MCL: 6 ppb

Short-term: EPA has found antimony to potentially cause the following health effects when people are exposed
to it at levels above the MCL for relatively short periods of time: nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Long-term: Antimony has the potential to cause the following effects from a lifetime exposure at levels above the
MCL: AND/OR- Antimony is a (known/potential drinking water) human carcinogen. OR- No reliable data are
available concerning health effects from long-term exposure to antimony in drinking water.

Not addressed in Part 503 sludge biosolids.

Arsenic
EPA has set the arsenic standard for drinking water at .010 parts per million (10 parts per billion) to protect
consumers served by public water systems from the effects of long-term, chronic exposure to arsenic.

Non-cancer effects can include thickening and discoloration of the skin, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting;
diarrhea; numbness in hands and feet; partial paralysis; and blindness.

Arsenic has been linked to cancer of the bladder, lungs, skin, kidney, nasal passages, liver, and prostate.

Part 503 Ceiling level of Arsenic in biosolids
75 ppm

More on Arsenic environmental exposure.

Asbestos
MCL 7 million fibers per liter

Short-term: Asbestos is not known to cause any health problems when people are exposed to it at levels above
the MCL for relatively short periods of time.

Long-term: Asbestos has the potential to cause the following effects from a lifetime exposure at levels above the
MCL: lung disease; cancer.

Not addresses in Part 503 sludge biosolids

More on
Asbestos

Barium
The MCL has also been set at 2 ppm because EPA believes, given present technology and resources, this is
the lowest level to which water systems can reasonably be required to remove this contaminant should it occur
in drinking water.

Short-term: EPA has found barium to potentially cause the following health effects when people are exposed to
it at levels above the MCL for relatively short periods of time: gastrointestinal disturbances and muscular
weakness.

Long-term: Barium has the potential to cause the following effects from a lifetime exposure at levels above the
MCL: high blood pressure.

Beryllium
The MCL has also been set at 4 ppb because EPA believes, given present technology and resources, this is the
lowest level to which water systems can reasonably be required to remove this contaminant should it occur in
drinking water.

Short-term: EPA has found barium to potentially cause the following health effects when people are exposed to
it at levels above the MCL for relatively short periods of time: inflammation of the lungs when inhaled; less toxic
in drinking water.

Long-term: Beryllium has the potential to cause the following effects from a lifetime exposure at levels above the
MCL: damage to bones and lungs; cancer.

Not addressed in Part 503 sludge biosolids.

More on
Beryllium environmental exposure.

Cadmium
The MCL has also been set at 5 ppb because EPA believes, given present technology and resources, this is
the lowest level to which water systems can reasonably be required to remove this contaminant if it occurs in
drinking water.

Short-term: EPA has found cadmium to potentially cause the following health effects when people are exposed
to it at levels above the MCL for relatively short periods of time: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle cramps,
salivation, sensory disturbances, liver injury, convulsions, shock and renal failure.

Long-term: Cadmium has the potential to cause the following effects from a lifetime exposure at levels above the
MCL: kidney, liver, bone and blood damage.

Part 503 Ceiling level of Cadmium in sludge biosolids
85 ppm

More on Cadmium environmental exposure.

Chromium
The MCL has also been set at 0.1 ppm because EPA believes, given present technology and resources, this is
the lowest level to which water systems can reasonably be required to remove this contaminant should it occur
in drinking water.

Short-term: EPA has found chromium to potentially cause the following health effects when people are exposed
to it at levels above the MCL for relatively short periods of time: skin irritation or ulceration.

Long-term: Chromium has the potential to cause the following effects from a lifetime exposure at levels above
the MCL: damage to liver, kidney circulatory and nerve tissues; skin irritation.

Ceiling level of chromium in sludge biosolids given in
Part 403  100,000 ppm.

Part 503 ceiling level of chromium in a permitted surface disposal site 600 ppm

More on Chromium environmental exposure

Copper
The Action Level for copper has also been set at 1.3 ppm because EPA believes, given present technology and
resources, this is the lowest level to which water systems can reasonably be required to control this contaminant
should it occur in drinking water at their customers home taps.

Short- and long-term effects: Copper is an essential nutrient, required by the body in very small amounts.
However, EPA has found copper to potentially cause the following health effects when people are exposed to it
at levels above the Action Level. Short periods of exposure can cause gastrointestinal disturbance, including
nausea and vomiting. Use of water that exceeds the Action Level over many years could cause liver or kidney
damage. People with Wilsons disease may be more sensitive than others to the effect of copper contamination
and should consult their health care provide

Part 503 Ceiling levels of Copper
4,300 ppm

More on Copper environmental exposure.

Cyanide
The MCL has been set at 0.2 ppm because EPA believes, given present technology and resources, this is the
lowest level to which water systems can reasonably be required to remove this contaminant should it occur in
drinking water.

Short-term: EPA has found cyanide to potentially cause the following health effects when people are exposed to
it at levels above the MCL for relatively short periods of time: rapid breathing, tremors and other neurological
effects

Long-term: Cyanide has the potential to cause the following effects from a lifetime exposure at levels above the
MCL: weight loss, thyroid effects, nerve damage

Not addressed in Part 503.

More on
Cyanide

Lead
The MCLG for lead has been set at zero because EPA believes this level of protection would not cause any of
the potential health problems described below.

The Action Level for lead has been set at
15 ppb (parts per billion)  because EPA believes, given present
technology and resources, this is the lowest level to which water systems can reasonably be required to control
this
contaminant should it occur in drinking water at their customers home taps.

Short- and Long-term effects: Lead can cause a variety of adverse health effects when people are exposed to it
at levels above the MCL for relatively short periods of time. These effects may include interference with red
blood cell chemistry, delays in normal physical and mental development in babies and young children, slight
deficits in the attention span, hearing, and learning abilities of children, and slight increases in the blood
pressure of some adults.

Long-term effects: Lead has the potential to cause the following effects from a lifetime exposure at levels above
the MCL: stroke and kidney disease; cancer.

Part 503 ceiling level of lead in sludge biosolids
800 ppm

More on Lead environmental exposure.


Mercury
The MCL has also been set at 2 ppb because EPA believes, given present technology and resources, this is
the lowest level to which water systems can reasonably be required to remove this contaminant should it occur
in drinking water.

Short- or Long-term: EPA has found mercury to potentially cause the following health effects when people are
exposed to it at levels above the MCL for relatively short periods of time: kidney damage.

Part 503 Ceiling level of Mercury in sludge biosolids
 57 ppm

More on Mercury environmental exposure.

Nitrate and Nitrite

The MCL for nitrates has been set at 10 ppm, and for nitrites at 1 ppm, because EPA believes, given
present technology and resources, this is the lowest level to which water systems can reasonably be required to
remove this contaminant should it occur in drinking water.

Short-term: Excessive levels of nitrate in drinking water have caused serious illness and sometimes death. The
serious illness in infants is due to the conversion of nitrate to nitrite by the body, which can interfere with the
oxygen-carrying capacity of the childs blood. This can be an acute condition in which health deteriorates rapidly
over a period of days. Symptoms include shortness of breath and blueness of the skin.

Long-term: Nitrates and nitrites have the potential to cause the following effects from a lifetime exposure at
levels above the MCL: diuresis, increased starchy deposits and hemorrhaging of the spleen.

Nitrates and nitrites are not addressed in Part 503.

Selenium
The MCL has been set at 0.05 ppm because EPA believes, given present technology and resources, this is the
lowest level to which water systems can reasonably be required to remove this contaminant should it occur in
drinking water.

Short-term: Selenium is an essential nutrient at low levels. However, EPA has found selenium to potentially
cause the following health effects when people are exposed to it at levels above the MCL for relatively short
periods of time: hair and fingernail changes; damage to the peripheral nervous system; fatigue and irritability.

Long-term: Selenium has the potential to cause the following effects from a lifetime exposure at levels above the
MCL: hair and fingernail loss; damage to kidney and liver tissue, and the nervous and circulatory systems.

Part 503 ceiling level of Selenium in sludge biosolids
100 ppm

More on
Selenium environmental exposure

Thallium
The MCL has been set at 2 ppb because EPA believes, given present technology and resources, this is the
lowest level to which water systems can reasonably be required to remove this contaminant should it occur in
drinking water.

Short-term: EPA has found thallium to potentially cause the following health effects when people are exposed to
it at levels above the MCL for relatively short periods of time: gastrointestinal irritation; nerve damage.

Long-term: Thallium has the potential to cause the following effects from a lifetime exposure at levels above the
MCL: changes in blood chemistry; damage to liver, kidney, intestinal and testicular tissues; hair loss.

Not addressed in Part 503

More on Thallium environmental exposure.