Frequent Questions

What adverse health effects are associated with exposure to MtBE?

There are no data on the effects on humans of drinking MtBE-contaminated water. In laboratory tests on animals, cancer and noncancer effects occur at high levels of exposure. These tests were conducted by inhalation exposure or by introducing the chemical in oil directly to the stomach. The tests support a concern for potential human hazard. Because the animals were not exposed through drinking water, there are significant uncertainties about the degree of risk associated with human exposure to low concentrations typically found in drinking water (Fact Sheet: Drinking Water Advisory: Consumer Acceptability Advice and Health Effects Analysis on Methyl Tertiary-Butyl Ether (MtBE), 822-F-97-009)

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