EPA issues drinking water advisory on MTBE

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued an advisory to drinking water suppliers regarding methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE). It said the advisory would provide public health protection if MTBE were detected in drinking water, as it has been in California. In general, EPA advised water suppliers to ensure that MTBE levels do not exceed 20-40 mcg/l. (20-40 ppb), a level at which the chemical is detectable by taste or smell. EPA said, "Recent air quality data indicate that the benefits of reducing air emissions from the use of MTBE in gasoline far exceed any known risks from the substance. EPA, other federal agencies, and private entities will continue further research on...

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