1, 4-Dioxane in New Brighton Drinking Water: Environmental Health: Minnesota Dept. of Health

1, 4-Dioxane in Drinking Water

1, 4-Dioxane is…

  • Used to stabilize chlorinated solvents.
  • Found in small amounts in many personal care products, laundry detergents and food.
  • Considered an emerging contaminant.
  • In the environment from spills or disposal of solvents that contain it as a stabilizer. 
  • Likely to stay in water once there – it does not break down naturally.

In Minnesota...

  • 1, 4-Dioxane has been detected in several public water supplies in Minnesota.
  • If levels of 1, 4-Dioxane exceed the state’s guidance level, the public will be notified.

What is the risk?

While no human cases have been linked to 1,4-Dioxane, it has been found to cause liver cancer in animal experiments. MDH recommends keeping exposures at or below 1 ppb over a lifetime (70 years) of constant exposure in order to avoid 1 additional case of cancer in a population of 100,000 exposed people.

The additional risk of cancer is much lower if someone has been drinking the contaminated water for only a few days, a few months, or even a few years.

Other activities, like washing dishes, bathing, showering, or watering the lawn do not pose increased risk.

For more information about MDH guidance,
see 1, 4-Dioxane in Drinking Water (PDF).

In response to questions raised by community members, MDH reviewed information about potential exposure to 1, 4-Dioxane when showering. The information can be found at Concerns about potential exposure to
1, 4-Dioxane when showering (PDF).

Contact Information

For questions about testing and sampling of drinking water in Minnesota: MDH Drinking Water Protection Program
Phone: 651-201-4700
Email: health.drinkingwater @state.mn.us

For questions about health risks:
MDH Site Assessment and Consultation Unit
Phone: 651-201-4897 or toll-free 1-800-657-3908
Email: health.hazard@state.mn.us

Updated Monday, April 09, 2018 at 02:50PM