Water: Human Health
Human Health Criteria
Human health ambient water quality criteria are numeric values limiting the amount of chemicals present in our nation's waters. These human health criteria are developed under Section 304(a) of the Clean Water Act of 1972.
Water quality criteria are developed by assessing the relationship between pollutants and their effect on human health and the environment. These criteria are used by states and Indian tribes to establish water quality standards and ultimately provide a basis for controlling discharges or releases of pollutants.
A human health criterion is the highest concentration of a pollutant in water that is not expected to pose a significant risk to human health.
Current National Recommended Human Health Water Quality Criteria lists recommended water quality criteria for the protection of human health.
Human Health Research Program
Human Health Research provides the methods, models, tools, and data needed to advance risk assessments to protect public health.
Human health criteria or guidance for the following are under development:
Standards and Health Advisories
- Drinking Water Standards and Health Advisories summary tables
- Drinking Water Contaminants & Maximum Contaminant Level (MCLs)
Health and Consumer Advisories
Related Technical Documents
Estimated Per Capita Fish Consumption in the United States (PDF) (262 pp, 3.27MB; August 2002)