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Got Tetrachloroethene in your water? We remove that.

AquaOx Filters Out Tetrachloroethylene in Water

AquaOx filters use a multi-stage filtration process that includes activated carbon, which is known to be effective in removing certain contaminants, including some volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like tetrachloroethylene (PCE), from water. In this article, we’ll discuss what tetrachloroethylene is, how you could be exposed, and how AquaOx can help.

What is Tetrachloroethene?

Also known as PERC or tetrachloroethylene, tetrachloroethene is a colorless liquid with the formula CI2C=CCI2. The chlorocarbon has a sweet smell that is detectable at 1 ppm. Without proper waste management and storage, industrial factories that use the chemical element may contribute to its release into the environment.

Tetrachloroethene has been classified as a Group 2A human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), indicating that it is possibly carcinogenic to humans. Studies have shown an association between tetrachloroethene exposure and an increased risk of certain cancers, such as bladder cancer, esophageal cancer, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

What Types of Industrial Uses Does it Have?

The principal use for the volatile liquid is as a solvent for organic materials in dry cleaning facilities. Tetrachloroethene is also an excellent degreasing solvent in the metalworking and automotive industries. It is an essential ingredient with other chlorocarbons. The colorless liquid also works excellently in aerosol preparations, spot removers, and paint strippers.

How Is Tetrachloroethylene Released Into the Environment?

There are several ways you could be exposed to tetrachloroethylene, including occupational exposure, environmental exposure, consumer products, poor indoor air quality, and accidental exposure.

If you work in an industry that uses or manufactures tetrachloroethylene, such as dry cleaning, textile processing, metal degreasing, or automotive repair, you may be at increased risk of exposure through inhalation of vapors or skin contact with the liquid.

Tetrachloroethylene may be present in some consumer products, such as spot removers, shoe polish, automotive care products, and certain arts and crafts supplies. If used in a poorly ventilated area or without proper protective measures, these products could result in exposure.

Accidents or spills during transportation, storage, or handling of tetrachloroethylene can result in sudden exposure to the chemical, especially in confined spaces or poorly ventilated areas.

How Could I Be Exposed to Tetrachloroethylene?

Tetrachloroethylene can be released into the environment during its production, use, and disposal. Contaminated air, water, soil, or food can be the result. For example, living near a dry cleaning facility or an industrial site that uses tetrachloroethylene could potentially result in environmental exposure.

Potential health problems from Tetrachloroethylene may also occur due to poor indoor air quality. The chemical can be present in indoor air as a result of its use in consumer products or from contaminated groundwater or soil that seeps into buildings. This can occur in homes or workplaces that are located near contaminated sites or have certain building materials, such as treated wood or flooring, that contain or release tetrachloroethylene.

It’s important to note that tetrachloroethylene is a volatile organic compound (VOC) and has been associated with potential health risks, including neurological, respiratory, and reproductive effects. If you suspect you may have been exposed to tetrachloroethylene, it’s important to seek medical advice and take appropriate steps to prevent further exposure, such as using proper ventilation, wearing protective clothing and equipment, and following safe handling practices.

How Does Tetrachloroethene Get into Your Drinking Water?

Through improper waste management and storage, the liquid chemical can get into water systems near industrial factories. Without proper handling, factories contribute to its release into the environment.

What are the Health Effects Associated with Tetrachloroethene?

Possible health risks stemming from exposure to tetrachloroethene include central nervous system effects, respiratory effects, liver and kidney damage, and reproductive effects. and carcinogenic impact.

Inhalation or ingestion of tetrachloroethene can affect the central nervous system, leading to symptoms such as dizziness, headache, confusion, and in severe cases, loss of consciousness. Long-term exposure to high levels of tetrachloroethene has been associated with neurotoxicity, resulting in cognitive and behavioral changes, and may also affect the peripheral nervous system.

Inhalation of tetrachloroethene vapors can irritate the respiratory tract, leading to symptoms such as coughing, chest tightness, and difficulty breathing. Prolonged exposure to high concentrations of tetrachloroethene may also cause lung damage.

Tetrachloroethene is metabolized in the liver, and like other chemicals, long-term exposure to high levels of tetrachloroethene may cause liver damage, including inflammation and liver dysfunction. There is also evidence that tetrachloroethene may be associated with kidney damage, although the mechanisms are not fully understood.

Animal studies have shown that tetrachloroethene exposure can cause reproductive and developmental toxicity, including reduced fertility, embryotoxicity, and teratogenic effects (birth defects) in offspring. However, the evidence for such effects in humans is limited and further research is needed.

It is important to note that the health effects of tetrachloroethene depend on the level and duration of exposure, as well as individual factors such as age, sex, and pre-existing health conditions. Occupational exposure to tetrachloroethene may be of particular concern for workers in industries that use or handle the chemical, such as dry cleaners, as well as for individuals living near contaminated sites. If you suspect exposure to tetrachloroethene or other hazardous chemicals, seek medical advice promptly.

Individuals who drink tetrachloroethene-contaminated water are prone to liver damage. Prolonged exposure may lead to increased chances of getting cancer. Drinking water with high concentrations of tetrachloroethene may cause damage to the central nervous system.

It can also affect the development of the eyes, ears, and central nervous system of the individuals who drink the contaminated water. The chemical may also cause reproductive effects to the exposed individual.

How Common is Tetrachloroethene in Water?

Fortunately, tetrachloroethene is more common in soil than in water. However, it still poses a great threat to water systems near industrial factories. This chemical is commonly used as a solvent in dry cleaning, metal degreasing, and other industrial applications, and it can also be present in groundwater and surface water due to releases from contaminated sites where it has been used or spilled.

The occurrence in water of tetrachloroethylene can vary depending on several factors, including the proximity and size of industrial or commercial activities that use or release it, the presence of contaminated sites, and the local hydrogeological conditions that affect the movement of contaminants in groundwater. In areas with high concentrations of industrial or commercial activities that use or release tetrachloroethylene, or in areas with known contaminated sites, the likelihood of tetrachloroethylene being present in water may be higher.

It’s important to note that the presence of tetrachloroethylene in drinking water can vary depending on the location. Many areas have no trouble meeting the EPA’s maximum contaminant level goals.

This contaminant is typically more common in areas with industrial or commercial activities that use or release this chemical. Regular water testing by local authorities or certified laboratories can provide information on the presence of tetrachloroethylene or other contaminants in drinking water in specific locations.

If you have concerns about the quality of your drinking water, it is recommended to contact your local water provider or a water testing professional for appropriate testing and guidance.

What is the EPA’s Standards for Tetrachloroethene in Drinking Water?

The EPA has set a Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) of zero for the contaminant in drinking water. The enforceable regulation for the chlorocarbon is at 0.005 mg/L or 5ppb. Detected levels higher than the set maximum contaminant level for tetrachloroethene require immediate action to prevent its potential health threats.

What is the Safe Drinking Water Act?

The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) is a federal law in the United States that was enacted in 1974 and is administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The SDWA establishes regulations and standards for the quality of drinking water to protect public health and ensure that drinking water is safe for consumption.

The key objectives of the Safe Drinking Water Act are setting standards for drinking water quality, monitoring and testing drinking water, source water protection, drinking water system management, building consumer confidence, and enforcement and compliance.

The SDWA establishes national primary drinking water regulations (NPDWRs) that set maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) or treatment techniques for various contaminants in drinking water. These standards are designed to protect public health by limiting the levels of contaminants in drinking water to safe levels.

The SDWA requires public water systems, which are facilities that provide drinking water to the public, to regularly monitor and test their water for compliance with the NPDWRs. Testing is done for a wide range of contaminants, including bacteria, viruses, chemicals, and radionuclides, among others.

The Act requires states and public water systems to develop and implement source water protection programs to prevent contamination of drinking water sources, such as rivers, lakes, and groundwater, and ensure that they are adequately protected from potential sources of contamination.

This piece of legislation establishes requirements for the operation and maintenance of public water systems, including treatment, distribution, and storage of drinking water, to ensure that they are properly managed and operated to protect most people.

The SDWA requires public water systems to provide annual consumer confidence reports (CCR) to their customers, which contain information on the quality of their drinking water, including the results of water testing, maximum contaminant level, possible health risks, and information about the water system.

In addition, the Safe Drinking Water Act authorizes the EPA to enforce compliance with the regulations and standards established under the Act. EPA can take enforcement actions against water supplies that do not comply with the requirements, including issuing fines, penalties, and other measures to ensure compliance.

The law applies to public water supplies that serve water to 25 or more people, and it sets national standards for drinking water quality. It is designed to protect public health by ensuring that drinking water in the United States is safe, reliable, and meets certain quality standards for most people.

What is the Best Reduction Media for Removing Tetrachloroethene from Drinking Water?

Suitable treatment technologies with granular activated carbon (GAC) can reduce the level of contaminant to below 0.005 mg/L or 5ppm. The water treatment system works best with packed tower aeration to eliminate the pollutant in your feed water. 

AquaOx’s water filtration systems come with the best media to get rid of tetrachloroethene and other contaminants in the water. Preventing health risks associated with impurities in your drinking water is now easier with a water filter system. If you’re looking for a solution to your water issue, then get a whole-house water filter today!

An AquaOx whole-house water filter is one of the best suitable treatment technologies that can remove the harmful Tetrachloroethene from your water and keep your body going strong.

*NOTE: Not all water contains all contaminants discussed. No water purifying system can remove 100% of every contaminant.  If you have a concern about a specific contaminant, please give us a call or live chat with one of our water experts.

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