Standards for chemicals in drinking water may be incomplete

A study published by the American Chemical Society has raised questions regarding current standards for chemical levels in drinking water. The EPA-commissioned study looked at the volatisation of chemicals to indoor air from residential dishwashers.

The study’s authors emphasise that current US standards for chemicals in drinking water are “primarily based on associated ingestion exposure. However, researchers are finding that other exposure rates may be as important or more important in terms of human health risk.”

Noting that studies of volatisation of chemicals from drinking water to indoor air have focused on showers, the study suggests that current standards may “fail to capture the mechanistic behaviour of the volitisation process for other sources”.

The study authors are Cynthia Howard-Reed and Richard Corsi of the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, and Jacqueline Moya of the EPA. The study is published in Environmental Science & Technology, an American Chemical Society publication.

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