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Human Health Benchmarks for Pesticides

Advanced testing methods now allow pesticides to be detected in water at very low levels. These small amounts of pesticides detected in drinking water or source water for drinking water do not necessarily indicate a health risk. The EPA has developed human health benchmarks for 363 pesticides to enable our partners to better determine whether the detection of a pesticide in drinking water or source waters for drinking water may indicate a potential health risk and to help them prioritize monitoring efforts.

The table below includes benchmarks for acute (one-day) and chronic (lifetime) exposures for the most sensitive populations from exposure to pesticides that may be found in surface or ground water sources of drinking water. The table also includes benchmarks for 40 pesticides in drinking water that have the potential for cancer risk. The HHBP table includes pesticide active ingredients for which Health Advisories or enforceable National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (e.g., maximum contaminant levels) have not been developed. View Drinking Water Health Advisories

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has developed similar levels for pesticides and contaminants other than pesticides in drinking water called Health Based Screening Levels (HBSLs). For more information on HBSLs please visit the USGS website.

Common Name
CAS Number
or One Day
Acute or
HHBPs for
Chronic RfD
b,h Chronic or Lifetime
Chronic or
HHBPs for
e Cancer
(mg/kg/per day)-1
(E-6 to E-4 )
1,2,4-Triazole288-88-00.030 300Children0.00535General Population--
2, 4 - DB DMA2758-42-10.600 19800Females 13-49 years0.030210General Population--
2, 4 - DBA94-82-60.600 19800Females 13-49 years0.030210General Population--
2,4-DP-p Salts & Esters15165-67-00.050 500Children0.036252General Population--
2,6-Dichlorobenzamide (BAM)2008-58-40.030 990Females 13-49 years0.004532General Population--
ADBAC68424-85-1 ---0.4403080General Population--
Abamectin71751-41-2, 65195-55-30.005 50Children0.00043General Population--
Acephate30560-19-10.005 50Children0.00128General Population--
Acequinocyl57960-19-7 ---0.027189General Population--
Acetamiprid135410-20-70.100 1000Children0.071497General Population--
Acetochlor34256-82-10.150 1500Children0.020140General Population--
Acibenzolar-methyl135158-54-20.082 2706Females 13-49 years0.082541Females 13-49 years--
Aluminum phosphide20859-73-80.018 180Children0.011379General Population--
Amicarbazone129909-90-60.100 1000Children0.0230161General Population--
Aminocyclopyrachlor858956-08-8, 858956-35-1, 858954-83-3, 124423-84-3, 1759-53-1 ---0.3502450General Population--
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a Formula for deriving Acute HHBP = [aRfD (mg/kg bw/day) x BW (kg) x 1000 (µg/mg)] / [Drinking Water Intake (L/day)] where BW=10 kg for children and 66 kg for females 13-49 years and Drinking Water Intake = 1L/day for children and 2L/day for females 13-49 years

b Formula for deriving Chronic HHBP = [cRfD (mg/kg bw/day) x BW (kg) x 1000 (µg/mg) x 0.2 RSC ] / [Drinking Water Intake (L/day)] where BW=70 kg for general population and 66 kg for females 13-49 years and Drinking Water Intake = 2L/day for general population as well as for females 13-49 years and RSC = Relative Source Contribution assumed as 20%

c For pesticide registration, an additional 10x FQPA factor is applied, which is not included in the RfD and HHBP calculations.

d For pesticide registration, an additional 3x FQPA factor is applied, which is not included in the RfD and HHBP calculations.

e Where there is no value, refer to the document for the cancer classification and quantification.

f No value denotes that carcinogenic quantification is not applicable and therefore, no carcinogenic HHBP is determined.

g Formula for deriving carcinogenic HHBP(ppb) = [10-6 or 10-4/Drinking Water Unit Risk (ppb-1), where Drinking Water Unit Risk (ppb-1) = [CSF (per mg/kg/day) x 2(L/day)]/[70 kg x1000 (µg/mg)]

h Represents the lowest benchmarks for the lifestage/population evaluated. In deriving the benchmarks, alternate bodyweights and drinking water intake may be considered for certain specific life stages (e.g., infants, children, pregnant mothers) and these could be found in the ‘Exposure Factors Handbook 2011 Edition'(1436 pp, 21MB, About PDF)