EPA Maximum
Contaminant Level (MCL)
0.003 mg/L

Toxaphene is a synthetic organic chemical formerly used as a pesticide on cotton, cattle, poultry and vegetables. It has been banned in the United States since 1990, but has a high rate of bioaccumulation in aquatic life and can persist in soil for many years. It arrives in drinking water through its banned insecticidal uses.

Health Effects of Toxaphene

Toxaphene, as its name suggests, is a toxic chemical that can cause cancer and other health problems. According to the EPA:

Some people who drink water containing toxaphene well in excess of the maximum contaminant level [0.003 milligrams per Liter] for many years could experience kidney, liver, or thyroid problems; increased risk of cancer.

Water Treatment for Toxaphene

The EPA recommends granular activated carbon (GAC) for the treatment of toxaphene.

Sources: EPA, Wikipedia, Photo:, author: Walter Baxter

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