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DEHP Concentrations in New Mexico Community Water Systems: Annual Mean and Maximum DEHP Concentration (Micrograms per Liter) by Year, 1999-2020, 1999 to 2021

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Why Is This Important?

DEHP is a man-made chemical commonly added to plastics to increase their elasticity. It is a colorless oily liquid with a slight odor ( It is slightly soluble in water. It is lipophilic and therefore, soluble in blood and body fluids containing lipoproteins. Most (about 95%) of DEHP produced is added as a plasticizer to polyvinyl chloride (PVC) for manufacturing flexible vinyl products. A long list of PVC products containing DEHP includes tablecloths, shower curtains, furniture and automobile upholstery, imitation leather, garden hoses, vinyl floor tiles and flooring, swimming-pool liners, sheathing for wire and cable, rainwear, shoes, toys, dolls, food packaging materials, tubing used in commercial milking equipment, weather stripping and medical devices, such as blood and intravenous solution bags, catheters, tubing for dialysis and intravenous solutions, and oxygen masks. Due to its widespread use in plastics, DEHP may be present everywhere in the environment, including air, soil, water, plants, fish, and other animals. DEHP in soil, water, and animals high on the food chain can be broken down by microorganisms into harmless chemicals, with gaseous carbon dioxide being one of the main products ( It does not break down easily when present in the deep soil or on the bottom of lakes and rivers, as it attaches strongly to soil/sediment particles. For the general public, ingestion of contaminated drinking water and food, inhalation of contaminated indoor air, and exposure through medical procedures are the primary pathways of potential exposure to DEHP (


Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) concentrations (in micrograms of DEHP per liter of water or mcg/L) in community drinking water systems (CWS) are combined with information about each CWS (such as service population) to generate the following measures shown in this report: 1) statewide DEHP concentration distribution in CWSs by mean and maximum over time, 2) annual distribution of mean and maximum DEHP concentration for persons served by CWS and 3) annual distribution of mean and maximum DEHP concentration by CWS. EPHT data queries -- -- provide detailed results by year for 1) mean DEHP concentration by CWS for a select year, 2) maximum DEHP concentration by CWS for a select year, 3) mean DEHP concentration and the number of CWS by year, 4) maximum DEHP concentration and the number of CWS by year, 5) mean DEHP concentration and the number of persons served by year or 6) maximum DEHP concentration and the number of persons served by year. Additionally, users may query the number of persons served and the number of CWS in the state for a select year. A CWS is a public water system (PWS) that serves year-round residents of a community, subdivision, or mobile home park that has at least 15 service connections or an average of at least 25 residents. These CWSs are a subset of all New Mexico PWSs. To measure radium concentration in CWS, drinking water samples are usually taken at entry points to the distribution system or representative sampling points after water treatment has occurred. Data Source: New Mexico Environment Department's Drinking Water Bureau, New Mexico Safe Drinking Water Information System (SDWIS). Measured DEHP concentrations in finished drinking water can be used to understand the distribution of potential DEHP exposure level for populations served by community water supplies. Due to potential errors in estimating service population, the measures may overestimate or underestimate the number of potentially affected people. These measures allow for comparison of potential DEHP exposure between the populations served by different water systems over time.

How the Measure is Calculated

  • Numerator:

    Concentration of DEHP.
  • Denominator:

    Not applicable

Health Topic Pages Related to: Community Water: Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) Concentrations

Community Health Resources and Links

Medical literature can be queried at the PubMed website.

Indicator Data Last Updated On 04/13/2021, Published on 04/14/2022
Environmental Health Epidemiology Bureau, Environmental Public Health Tracking Program, Epidemiology and Response Division, New Mexico Department of Health, 1190 S. Saint Francis Drive, Suite 1304, Santa Fe, NM 87505, Srikanth Paladugu, Bureau Chief,, Stephanie Moraga-Mchaley, Environmental Epidemiologist Supervisor, ,or Brian Woods, Environmental Epidemiologist,