water toxicity

Paul Schlosser SCHLOSSER at ciit.org
Wed Apr 6 17:05:38 EST 1994

Luke Matkins (kmatkin at calvin.linfield.edu) wrote:
: Hello everyone.

: I'm part of a group in my high school doing a drinking water quality 
: study for an honors class.  We've obtained all the testing results from 
: the water suppliers in our area, but have one more problem left.

: We now have pages and pages of lists of chemicals and the amounts found, but 
: no information as to what toxic effects they might have on humans.  We've 
: checked all kinds of chemistry/organic chemistry books, but have found 
: very little data on toxicity of specific chemicals.  Any suggestions??? 

: And, does anyone know if the DEQ has an email address?  =)


: Luke Matkins
: kmatkin at calvin.linfield.edu  <-- yup, it's my mom's account!

Source 1:  the series produced by the Agency for Toxic Substances and
Disease Registry (a branch of the US Public Health Service), with titles
"Toxicological Profile for [compound]".  These are available in the public
documents sections of (US universities) libraries.

Source 2:  the series produced by the International Programme on Chemical
Safety (a branch of the World Health Organization) titled either
"Environmental Health Criteria for [compound]" or
"[compound] Environmental Health Criteria"  
(depending on the compound, one or the other variation may be used)
These should also be available in public documents sections.

Source of sources:  "Information Resources in Toxicology", 2nd edn.,
Philip Wexler, Elsevier, NY (1988), ISBN 0-444-01214-1.  This tells you
where to find info. on various compounds, but some of the above may be
more recent.

As far as listings by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)
are concerned, the preamble to Supplement 7 states:
"Inclusion of an agent in the Monographs DOES NOT IMPLY THAT IT IS A
CARCINOGEN, only that the published data have been examined ..." and indicate
that further study is needed, but that precautions to avoid contact are
advised. [Quote from: "IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogen
Risks to Humans", Supp. 7 at 11, 18 (IARC 1987).]  The caps are my own.  
This is particularly true of IARC 2B listing ("possible carcinogen"). 
Certainly, the existence of any IARC 2B compound in drinking water is an
issue of concern, but the risks associated with them are likely to be small.

Sources 1 and 2 above will give much more detailed info. on what studies
have been done, the results of those studies, as well as info. on responses
seen at various dose levels.

Paul Schlosser
Chemical Industry Institute of Toxicology
PO Box 12137
Research Triangle Park, NC  27709

schlosser at beta.ciit.org

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