Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to site content




  1. The available PCE test results from the Duxbury water supply system for 1997 indicate that current opportunities for exposure to PCE should not result in either non-cancer adverse health effects or cancer. Furthermore, it is expected that the monitoring and remediation program recommended by the Ad-Hoc Committee on Water Quality should be adequate to keep the concentrations of PCE below the drinking water standard (5 ppb) in the future.
  2. Even under worst-case conditions, adverse non-cancer health effects are not expected for adults who may have had opportunities for exposure to PCE in their drinking water in the past. Based on the available, published literature, it is also unlikely that young or unborn children could have been adversely affected during development as a result of past opportunities for exposure to PCE. However, because the records of the past PCE concentrations in the Duxbury water distribution system are incomplete, the possibility of adverse developmental effects for some children cannot be ruled out completely.
  3. The results of some animal studies have associated exposure to PCE with the development of cancer. The evidence for the carcinogenicity of PCE in humans is less clear. Because of the small number of people served by VLAC pipe in Duxbury, it is unlikely that past exposures to PCE in the Duxbury water supply system would result in a discernable elevation in the cancer rates for Duxbury. However, without accurate documentation of historical concentrations of PCE, the potential for increased cancer risks for certain individuals cannot be known with certainty.


  1. MDPH supports the Town of Duxburys efforts to reduce opportunities for exposure to PCE in drinking water from VLAC pipes. The MDPH also supports the monitoring program recommended by the Ad-Hoc Committee on Water Quality including the need to identify all areas of the Duxbury water distribution system that should be part of this program (e.g., dead end water mains without VLAC pipe that are connected to water mains with VLAC pipe).


  1. Larsen, C.D., Love, Jr., O.T., Reynolds III, G. (1983) Tetrachloroethylene leached from asbestos-cement pipe into drinking water, Journal of the American Water Works Association, Volume 75, pp. 184-188.

  2. Interim Report of Tetrachloroethylene Contamination of Public Drinking Water Supplies Caused by Vinyl-Lined Asbestos Cement Pipe, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Quality Engineering, Division of Water Supply, September 1980.

  3. Letter from Lawrence Dayian, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Quality Engineering, to public water suppliers on July 27, 1989 re: Tetrachloroethylene leaching from vinyl-lined asbestos cement water mains.

  4. Technical Memorandum re: Tetrachloroethylene contamination in a water distribution system, prepared by Camp Dresser & McKee Inc. for the Town of Duxbury, June 1997.

  5. Tetrachloroethylene Contamination of the Town of Duxburys Drinking Water Distribution System from Vinyl Lined Asbestos Cement Pipes 1980 to 1997, Mary Leach and Georgeann Blatterman, Town of Duxbury Ad-Hoc Committee on Water Quality, June 30, 1997.

  6. Draft Toxicological Profile for Tetrachloroethylene, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia, August 1995.

  7. Aschengrau, A., Ozonoff, D., Paulu, C., Coogan, P., Vezina, R., Heeren, T., Zhang, Y. (1993) Cancer risk and tetrachloroethylene-contaminated drinking water in Massachusetts, Archives of Environmental Health, Volume 48, Number 5, pp. 284-292.

  8. Vartiainen, T., Pukkala, E., Rienoja, T., Strandman, T., Kaksonen, K. (1993) Population exposure to tri- and tetrachloroethylene and cancer risk: Two cases of drinking water pollution, Chemosphere, Volume 27, Number 7, pp. 1171-1181.

  9. Woburn Childhood Leukemia Follow-up Study, Volume I: Analyses, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Bureau of Environmental Health Assessment, Boston, Massachusetts, July 1997.

Next Section          Table of Contents The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 4770 Buford Hwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30341
Contact CDC: 800-232-4636 / TTY: 888-232-6348

A-Z Index

  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
  8. H
  9. I
  10. J
  11. K
  12. L
  13. M
  14. N
  15. O
  16. P
  17. Q
  18. R
  19. S
  20. T
  21. U
  22. V
  23. W
  24. X
  25. Y
  26. Z
  27. #