Bradley PM, et al. Reconnaissance of Mixed Organic and Inorganic Chemicals in Private and Public Supply Tapwaters at Selected Residential and Workplace Sites in the United States. Environmental science & technology. 2018 Nov 21. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.8b04622
Safe drinking water at the point-of-use (tapwater, TW) is a United States public health priority. Multiple lines of evidence were used to evaluate potential human health concerns of 482 organics and 19 inorganics in TW from 13 (7 public supply, 6 private well self-supply) home and 12 (public supply) workplace locations in 11 states. Only uranium (61.9 μg L-1, private well) exceeded a National Primary Drinking Water Regulation maximum contaminant level (MCL: 30 μg L-1). Lead was detected in 23 samples (MCL goal: zero). Seventy-five organics were detected at least once, with median detections of 5 and 17 compounds in self-supply and public supply samples, respectively (corresponding maxima: 12 and 29). Disinfection byproducts predominated in public supply samples, comprising 21% of all detected and 6 of the 10 most frequently detected. Chemicals designed to be bioactive (26 pesticides, 10 pharmaceuticals) comprised 48% of detected organics. Site-specific cumulative exposure-activity ratios (∑EAR) were calculated for the 36 detected organics with ToxCast data. Because these detections are fractional indicators of a largely uncharacterized contaminant space, ∑EAR in excess of 0.001 and 0.01 in 74 and 26% of public supply samples, respectively, provide an argument for prioritized assessment of cumulative effects to vulnerable populations from trace-level TW exposures.