In a draft report made available for public comment, Health Canada has recommended a maximum acceptable concentration (MAC) of 1 μg/L for vinyl chloride in drinking water. The key issue is its status as a non-threshold human carcinogen, with the potential to cause adverse effects at any level of exposure. At the proposed MAC, an excess cancer risk of 2.5 in 105 was estimated, which exceeds the level of risk considered “essentially negligible” by Health Canada (in the range of 1 in 105 to 1 in 106). It was therefore stressed that drinking water levels should be kept ‘as low as reasonably achievable’ (ALARA), particularly for young infants (under 5 weeks of age) who may be twice as sensitive to vinyl chloride’s carcinogenic effects as adults.

Health Canada (2012). Vinyl chloride in drinking water. Document for public comment prepared by the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Committee on Drinking Water. Available for comment until 2 November 2012.

 

The above item was taken from the October 2012 issue of Toxicology and Regulatory News which is sent automatically to members of bibra (click here for more details).

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