What is the California “public health goal (PHG)”?

The PHG represents the level of contaminant at which no adverse health effects would be anticipated over an entire lifetime of exposure. So, a PHG is not a boundary line between a “safe” and “dangerous” level of a chemical, and drinking water is frequently demonstrated as safe to drink even if it contains chemicals at levels exceeding their PHGs. The EPA’s MCLs are set as close to the health goals as possible, considering cost, benefits and the ability of public water systems to detect and remove contaminants using suitable treatment technologies.

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1. What does the EWG database show?
2. What does the EWG database not show?
3. Does EWG use nationally accepted standards?
4. What is the California “public health goal (PHG)”?
5. EWG’s database shows the City of Everett’s water supply has contaminants detected above health guidelines – is this dangerous?
6. How do water systems determine what water quality standards to follow?