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CHEM 3451 Quantitative Analysis

Resources to use for the Literature Search Report (bonus assignment) in CHEM 3451.

U.S. Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)

The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) is the federal law that regulates drinking water and is enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA sets limits on the amounts of contaminants that can be present in drinking water, which are called Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs). The current List of Contaminants and their MCLS is available on the EPA website. There are approximately 90 microorganisms, chemicals, and other substances on the list.

State Government Information

The government of the state where a chemical release or spill has occurred is another source of information about the level and effects of contamination, and how the level is being assessed. You can either go to the state government's website and search for reports, or try searching in a search engine, such as Google.

An example of state government documents about contamination of water comes from 2014 MCHM spill in the Elk River in West Virginia. The state of West Virginia issued these reports following the spill:

U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) is an arm of the Center for Disease Control (CDC). It is responsible for determining the toxicology and health affects of hazardous substances, and publishing Toxicological Profiles for the substances.

The ATSDR also produces the Substance Priority List (SPL) of substances that will be studied based on their toxicity and potential for human exposure. Previous priority lists and explanations of how the list is ranked are available on the SPL Resource Page.

Sometimes there are emergencies involving hazardous substances which haven't been analyzed by the ATSDR yet. In those cases, the ATSDR and the CDC will review available data and recommend the minimum substance exposure level for humans. The emergency reports can be located on the CDC's Recent Outbreaks and Incidents webpage, or by searching the CDC website for the name of the substance and the location of the release or spill.

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