Canadian Consulting Engineer

News

New guidelines proposed for benzene in drinking water

Health Canada has posted a new guideline for levels of benzene in drinking water. The Guideline Technical Document ...


Health Canada has posted a new guideline for levels of benzene in drinking water. The Guideline Technical Document on Benzene in Drinking Water now proposes levels of 0.001 mg/L. Previous recommended levels were 0.005 mg/L as posted on the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment web site(http://www.ccme.ca/sourcetotap/benzene.html).
Benzene is a clear, colourless liquid that is highly flammable. It is used in making plastics, rubber and synthetic fabrics such as nylon and polyester. It is also used as a solvent in printing, paints and dry cleaning, and is found in gasoline. The main source of benzene in the environment is from emissions from vehicle engines.
The chemical is a documented human carcinogen most notably causing leukemia after high exposures and is toxic to freshwater fish, invertebrates, and aquatic plants.
Anyone with comments on the new Health Canada standard must forward them by e-mail to water_eau@hc-sc.gc.ca by September 14.