Volatile Organic Contaminants
    
Maximum Contaminant Level Goals (MCL) and health effects.
                                                                                               9-22-2007
Burning trash is bad -- EPA claims VOCs in sludge don't harm you?

Volatile Organic Compounds
People in the immediate vicinity of a burn barrel are also exposed to high levels of volatile organic
compounds (VOCs) produced by open burning. Many VOCs are harmful to humans. They also contribute
to ground-level ozone pollution, also known as smog, which can worsen respiratory, heart, and other
existing health problems. Inhaling certain VOCs can lead to eye, nose, and throat irritation; headache;
loss of coordination; nausea; and damage to liver, kidney, and central nervous system.
http://www.epa.gov/msw/backyard/health.htm#dioxins

EPA Office of Drinking Water considers it to be a real possibility that these organic chemicals do not dissipate in the
environment as fast as the sludge disposal group at EPA would have us believe.  As the drinking water group show,
these could be some of the most dangerous chemicals found in sludge biosolids.

Volatile Organic chemicals were not addressed in the Part 503 sludge risk assessment or rule, now referred to as the
biosolids rule. EPA assumed the organic chemicals evaporated before sludge bisolids were disposed of on farmland
and would not damage the health of the neighbors of the sludge disposal site.


Benzene
The MCL has been set at 5 parts per billion (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 benzene to potentially cause the following health effects when people are exposed to it at
levels above the MCL for relatively short periods of time: temporary nervous system disorders, immune system
depression, anemia.

Long-term: Benzene has the potential to cause the following effects from a lifetime exposure at levels above the
MCL: chromosome aberrations, cancer.

Carbon Tetrachloride
The MCL has been set at 5 part per billion (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 carbon tetrachloride to potentially cause the following health effects when people are
exposed to it at levels above the MCL for relatively short periods of time: liver, kidney and lung damage.

Long-term: Carbon tetrachloride has the potential to cause the following effects from a lifetime exposure at levels
above the MCL: liver damage; cancer.

Chlorobenzene  
The MCL has 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 chlorobenzene to potentially cause the following health effects when people are exposed
to it at levels above the MCL for relatively short periods of time: anesthetic effects and impaired liver and kidney
function.

Long-term: Chlorobenzene has the potential to cause the following effects from a lifetime exposure at levels above
the MCL: liver, kidney and central nervous system damage.

o-Dichlorobenzene
The MCL has been set at 0.6 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: o-DCB 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: o-DCB has the potential to cause the following effects from a lifetime exposure at levels above the MCL:
damage to the nervous system, liver, kidneys and blood cells.

p-Dichlorobenzene
The MCL has been set at 75 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 p-DCB 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, headaches, and irritation of the eyes and
respiratory tract.

Long-term: p-DCB has the potential to cause the following effects from a lifetime exposure at levels above the MCL:
anemia, skin lesions, appetite loss, damage to liver and changes in blood.

1,1-Dichloroethylene
The MCL has been set at 7 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 1,1-DCE to potentially cause the following health effects when people are exposed to it at
levels above the MCL for relatively short periods of time: liver damage.

Long-term: 1,1-DCE has the potential to cause the following effects from a lifetime exposure at levels above the
MCL: liver and kidney damage, as well as toxicity to the developing fetus; cancer.

cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene
The MCLs have also been set at 0.07 ppm for the cis form,

Short-term: EPA has found cis- and trans-1,2-DCE to potentially cause the following health effects when people are
exposed to it at levels above the MCL for relatively short periods of time: central nervous system depression.

Long-term: Both cis- and trans-1,2-DCE have the potential to cause liver, circulatory and nervous system damage
from long-term exposure at levels above the MCL.

trans-1,2-Dicholoroethylene
The MCLs have also been set at  0.1 ppm for the trans form. 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.

Health effects same as above except, The trans form is approximately twice as potent as the cis form in its ability to
depress the central nervous system.

Dichloromethane
The MCL has been set at 5 parts per billion (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 dichloromethane to potentially cause the following health effects when people are
exposed to it at levels above the MCL for relatively short periods of time: Damage to the nervous system and to
blood.

Long-term: Dichloromethane has the potential to cause the following effects from a lifetime exposure at levels above
the MCL: liver damage; cancer.

1,2-Dichloroethane
The MCL has been set at 5 parts per billion (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 1,2-dichloroethane to potentially cause the following health effects when people are
exposed to it at levels above the MCL for relatively short periods of time: central nervous system disorders, and
adverse lung, kidney, liver circulatory and gastrointestinal effects.

Long-term: 1,2-Dichloroethane has the potential to cause the following effects from a lifetime exposure at levels
above the MCL: cancer.

1,2-Dichloropropane
The MCL has been set at 5 parts per billion (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 1,2-DCP to potentially cause the following health effects when people are exposed to it at
levels above the MCL for relatively short periods of time: damage to the liver, kidneys, adrenal glands, bladder, and
the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts.

Long-term: 1,2-DCP has the potential to cause the following effects from a lifetime exposure at levels above the
MCL: the liver, kidneys, bladder, gastrointestinal tract and the respiratory tract; cancer.

Ethylbenzene
The MCL has also been set at 0.7 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 ethylbenzene to potentially cause the following health effects when people are exposed
to it at levels above the MCL for relatively short periods of time: drowsiness, fatigue, headache and mild eye and
respiratory irritation.

Long-term: Ethylbenzene has the potential to cause the following effects from a lifetime exposure at levels above the
MCL: damage to the liver, kidneys, central nervous system and eyes.

Styrene
The MCL has 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 styrene to potentially cause the following health effects when people are exposed to it at
levels above the MCL for relatively short periods of time: nervous system effects such as depression, loss of
concentration, weakness, fatigue and nausea.

Long-term: Styrene has the potential to cause the following effects from a lifetime exposure at levels above the MCL:
liver and nerve tissue damage; cancer.

Tetrachloroethylene
The MCL has been set at 5 parts per billion (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.

Some people who drink water containing tetrachloroethylene in excess of the MCL over many years could have
problems with their liver and may have an increased risk of getting cancer.

1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene
The MCL has also been set at 0.07 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 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene to potentially cause the following health effects when people are
exposed to it at levels above the MCL for relatively short periods of time: changes in liver, kidneys and adrenal glands

Long-term: 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene has the potential to cause the following effects from a lifetime exposure at levels
above the MCL: increased adrenal gland weights

1,1,1,-Trichloroethane  
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 1,1,1-TCA to potentially cause the following health effects when people are exposed to it
at levels above the MCL for relatively short periods of time: damage to the liver, nervous system and circulatory
system.

Long-term: 1,1,1-TCA has the potential to cause the following effects from a lifetime exposure at levels above the
MCL: liver, nervous system and circulatory system damage.

1,1,2-Trichloroethane
The MCL has 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 should it occur in drinking water.
Trichloroethylene  

Short-term: EPA has found 1,1,2-TCE to potentially cause the following health effects when people are exposed to it
at levels above the MCL for relatively short periods of time: irritation of gastrointestinal tract; red or hemorrhaged
lungs; pale liver.

Long-term: 1,1,2-TCE has the potential to cause the following effects from a lifetime exposure at levels above the
MCL: damage to liver and kidneys; cancer.

TRICHLOROETHYLENE
The MCL has been set at 5 parts per billion (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.

Some people who drink water containing trichloroethylene in excess of the MCL over many years could experience
problems with their liver and may have an increased risk of getting cancer.

Toluene
The MCL has also been set 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: EPA has found toluene to potentially cause the following health effects when people are exposed to it at
levels above the MCL for relatively short periods of time: minor nervous system disorders such as fatigue, nausea,
weakness, confusion.

Long-term: Toluene has the potential to cause the following effects from a lifetime exposure at levels above the MCL:
more pronounced nervous disorders such as spasms, tremors, impairment of speech, hearing, vision, memory,
coordination; liver and kidney damage.

Vinyl Chloride
The MCL has been set at 2 parts per billion (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 vinyl chloride to potentially cause the following health effects when people are exposed to
it at high levels (40 - 900 mg/L) for relatively short periods of time: damage to the nervous system.

Long-term: Vinyl chloride has the potential to cause cancer and may damage the liver following a lifetime exposure at
levels above 0.1 mg/L.

Xylenes  
The MCL has been set at 10 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 xylenes to potentially cause the following health effects when people are exposed to it at
levels above the MCL for relatively short periods of time: disturbances of cognitive abilities, balance, and
coordination.

Long-term: Xylenes has the potential to cause the following effects from a lifetime exposure at levels above the MCL:
damage to the central nervous system, liver and kidneys.