Asbestos
EPA Designation Regulated
EPA Classification Inorganic Chemicals
EPA Levels 1,2 7 million fibers per liter MCLG (mg/L)
7 MFL MCLG (mg/L)
Alternative Names none
Sources There are two main sources for asbestos in our water supply. The decay of asbestos cement in water mains or the erosion of asbestos natural deposits.
Asbestos is a mineral fiber introduced into water by the dissolution of asbestos-containing minerals and from decay of asbestos cement in water mains.

Overview

Asbestos is a mineral fiber introduced into water by the dissolution of asbestos-containing minerals and from decay of asbestos cement in water mains.

Uses

Because asbestos fibers are resistant to heat and most chemicals, they have been mined for use in more than 3,000 products, including roofing materials, brake pads, and cement pipe often used in distributing water to communities. Asbestos is found in many building products, roof shingles, tiles, textured paint, artificial ashes and embers sold for use in gas-fired fireplaces. Older products such as stove-top pads , Walls and floors around woodburning stoves may be protected with asbestos paper, millboard, or cement sheets, Asbestos is found in some vinyl floor tiles and the backing on vinyl sheet flooring and adhesives, Hot water and steam pipes in older houses may be coated with an asbestos material or covered with an asbestos blanket or tape, and Oil and coal furnaces and door gaskets may have asbestos insulation.

Health Effects

From studies of people who were exposed to asbestos in factories and shipyards, we know that breathing high levels of asbestos fibers can lead to an increased risk of: lung cancer; mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the chest and the abdominal cavity and askestosis, in which the lungs become scarred with fibrous tissue.

EPA Data Source: Asbestos

EPA Definitions:

1Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) - The level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MCLGs allow for a margin of safety and are non-enforceable public health goals.

Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) - The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to MCLGs as feasible using the best available treatment technology and taking cost into consideration. MCLs are enforceable standards.

Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level Goal (MRDLG) - The level of a drinking water disinfectant below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MRDLGs do not reflect the benefits of the use of disinfectants to control microbial contaminants.

(TT) Treatment Technique - A required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water.

Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level (MRDL) - The highest level of a disinfectant allowed in drinking water. There is convincing evidence that addition of a disinfectant is necessary for control of microbial contaminants.

2 Units are in milligrams per liter (mg/L) unless otherwise noted. Milligrams per liter are equivalent to parts per million.