United States
                 Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Water4304T

  September 2008
                 Revised National Recommended  Water
                 Quality  Criteria for the Protection of Human
                 Health:  Draft Criteria for Acrolein and Phenol
EPA is publishing updated draft national recommended water quality criteria for the protection of human health for
acrolein and phenol. These updated criteria are based on EPA's Methodology for Deriving Ambient Water Quality
Criteria for the Protection of Human Health (2000), EPA-822-B-00-004 (2000 Human Health Methodology) and,
when finalized, will supersede current recommended criteria for these chemicals.

What are human health water quality criteria?

Human health water quality criteria are numeric values that protect human health from the harmful effects of
pollutants in surface water. Under section 304(a) of the Clean Water Act, water quality criteria are based solely
on data and scientific judgments about the relationship between pollutant concentrations and environmental and
human health effects; economic or social impacts do not influence criteria recommendations.

EPA's national recommended water quality criteria provide guidance to states and authorized tribes in adopting
water quality criteria that meet the requirements of the CWA.  They are not regulations themselves and do not
impose legally binding requirements on EPA, states, territories, authorized tribes or the public.

How were the water quality criteria updated?

EPA revised the human health water quality criteria based on the Agency's 2000 Human Health Methodology.
This methodology incorporates significant scientific advances made in the last two decades, particularly in the
areas of cancer and noncancer risk assessments, exposure assessments, and methodologies to estimate
bioaccumulation in fish.

The updated water quality criteria integrate new reference doses for acrolein and phenol.  These values have
already been published in the Agency's Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS).

What are the updated human health water quality criteria?

The following tables present the updated draft criteria values as well as the current criteria values and the
reference doses used to derive the respective criteria values.

U.S. EPA Draft Criteria Updates

Water + Organisms
Organisms Only
Current Criterion

0.0156 mg/(kg-d) (published 1977)
290 ug/l
Updated Draft Criterion

0.0005 mg/(kg-d) (published 6/03)
6 ug/l
9 ug/l

Current Criterion
Updated Draft Criterion
0.60 mg/(kg-d) (published 2/90)

0.30 mg/(kg-d) (published 9/02)
(http:/Iwww.epa.gov/ncea/iris/substJOO88. htm)
Water + Organism
20,700 ugh
10,400 ug/l
Organisms Only
1,700,000 ug/l
857,000 ug/l
Where can I find more information on the draft updated human health water quality criteria?
For more information, contact Heidi L. Bethel, Health and Ecological Criteria Division (4304T), U.S. EPA, 1200
Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, D.C. 20460; (202) 566-2054 or send an e-mail to bethel.heidi epa.Qov .
You can find the Federal Register notice or updated national recommended water quality criteria online at
http:/Iwww. epa. gov/waterscience/criteria/humanhealth/.
EPA has also established an official public docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2008-
Scientific views will be accepted for 45 days on these draft criteria revisions at the docket webpage. The docket
can be accessed at www.re ulations.qov .