Protect Long Island's Drinking Water from 1,4-Dioxane

Tell NYS that we need a drinking water standard now

1,4-Dioxane is an emerging contaminant of concern found in Long Island's groundwater. According to an EPA study, Nassau and Suffolk water suppliers have reported the highest levels of 1,4-dioxane contamination in the nation.

1,4-Dioxane is considered a probable carcinogen, and the EPA has determined that 1,4-dioxane represents a cancer risk in drinking water at levels 0.35 µg/L or more. In the absence of an established federal drinking water standard, the default allowable level in drinking water is 50 µg/L, which is grossly inadequate to protect public health.

With no federal guideline in place and in the face of clear evidence that 1,4-dioxane is a serious threat to drinking water for all Long Islanders, we must establish a health-based drinking water standard in NY!

Contact the Commissioner of the NYS DEC and the Commissioner of the NYS DOH today. Urge them to work with the NYS Drinking Water Council to create a health-based drinking water standard for 1,4-dioxane of .35 µg/L. Feel free to copy and personalize the sample text below in your message.

Contact:

Commissioner of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
Commissioner of the NYS Department of Health (howard.zucker@health.ny.gov)
 

Sample Text (copy text between dotted lines):
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1,4-Dioxane is considered a probable carcinogen and is found in everyday household products. The U.S. EPA has determined that 1,4-dioxane represents a cancer risk in drinking water at levels of 0.35 µg/L or more. Currently, there is no enforceable federal drinking water standard for 1,4-dioxane in New York State. Every day we wait to act, the risk of drinking water contamination increases.

I urge you work through the NYS Drinking Water Council to create a health-based drinking water standard for 1,4-dioxane of .35ug/L. Additionally, I urge you protect New Yorkers by mandating the removal of 1,4-dioxane from everyday personal care products.
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Background:

1,4-Dioxane is a hidden carcinogen lurking in everyday products. It occurs as byproduct of a manufacturing process called "ethoxylation" and is found in many common household products, including detergents, dishwashing soaps, shampoos, cosmetics, deodorants, and body lotions. Exposure to this chemical is linked to tumors of the liver, gallbladder, nasal cavity, lung, skin, and breast. Of the 4,400 water supply systems tested nationwide by the EPA, Long Island has the highest levels of 1,4-dioxane detection, with some water systems in both Nassau and Suffolk containing levels over 100 times the EPA's cancer risk guideline of 0.35 µg/L. 1,4-Dioxane can even be found in baby wipes and baby shampoos. It can also be found in pesticides, packaging materials, paints, solvents, and varnishes. 1,4-Dioxane is a manufacturing byproduct; therefore, it is not listed on product labels, making it difficult for consumers to make safe, informed choices. Manufacturers can remove 1,4-dioxane from products simply and cheaply, and the FDA actually recommends that manufacturers do so; however, many companies opt not to take that extra step.

Recently, Citizens Campaign for the Environment hired a New York State certified laboratory to conduct independent testing on 30 commonly used consumer products. Our test results found that, of the 30 products tested, 23 contained 1,4-dioxane, including two that had levels of 1,4-dioxane over the FDA recommendation of 10 ppm considered safe for skin exposure. Our results found that even baby products contained low levels of the harmful chemical. All of these common products are contributing to 1,4-dioxane being washed down the drain into our sole-source aquifers and our coastal environments.

We need New York State to act now to prevent further exposure to 1,4-dioxane through our drinking water. Right now, there is no federal health-based drinking water standard for 1,4-dioxane, even though the EPA considers ingestion from drinking water to be the most dangerous route of exposure. As technology develops to remove this toxic chemical from drinking water, we need the NYS DEC and the NYS Department of Health to be proactive in setting a health-based drinking water standard to protect public health.

Thank you for taking action. Together we make a difference!

Sincerely,

All of Us at CCE