Skip Navigation

the Environmental and Energy Resources Library

Home Browse Resources Get Recommendations Forums About Help Advanced Search

Health-Based Screening Levels: A Tool for Evaluating What Water-Quality Data May Mean to Human Health

When contaminants are detected in water resources, it is important to describe what the occurrence of these contaminants may mean to human health. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) began an interagency pilot effort in 1998 to communicate the potential relevance of the water-quality findings of its National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program in a human-health context. Many ground-water resources sampled by USGS are used as drinking-water sources, and water-quality conditions historically have been assessed, where appropriate, by comparing measured contaminant concentrations with drinking-water standards and guidelines. Drinking-water standards and guidelines are not available, however, for about two thirds of the contaminants measured in water by the NAWQA Program and other USGS studies. To supplement existing Federal drinking-water standards and guidelines, USGS began a collaborative project with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), and Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) to calculate Health-Based Screening Levels (HBSLs). HBSLs were calculated for contaminants that do not have USEPA Maximum Contaminant Levels.

Cumulative Rating: (not yet rated)
Date Of Record Release 2009-02-16 14:54:14
Description When contaminants are detected in water resources, it is important to describe what the occurrence of these contaminants may mean to human health. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) began an interagency pilot effort in 1998 to communicate the potential relevance of the water-quality findings of its National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program in a human-health context. Many ground-water resources sampled by USGS are used as drinking-water sources, and water-quality conditions historically have been assessed, where appropriate, by comparing measured contaminant concentrations with drinking-water standards and guidelines. Drinking-water standards and guidelines are not available, however, for about two thirds of the contaminants measured in water by the NAWQA Program and other USGS studies. To supplement existing Federal drinking-water standards and guidelines, USGS began a collaborative project with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), and Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) to calculate Health-Based Screening Levels (HBSLs). HBSLs were calculated for contaminants that do not have USEPA Maximum Contaminant Levels.
Classification
Date Issued 2008
Resource Type
Format
Subject
Source United States Geological Survey
Selector Bates
Date Of Record Creation 2009-02-16 14:49:51
Education Level
Date Last Modified 2011-04-12 10:00:55
Language English
Date Record Checked: 2011-04-12 00:00:00 (W3C-DTF)

Log In:





Mission
EERL's mission is to be the best possible online collection of environmental and energy sustainability resources for community college educators and for their students. The resources are also available for practitioners and the public.

EERL & ATEEC
EERL is a product of a community college-based National Science Foundation Center, the Advanced Technology Environmental and Energy Center (ATEEC), and its partners.

Contact ATEEC 563.441.4087 or by email ateec@eicc.edu