Health-Based Screening Levels (HBSLs) are non-enforceable water-quality benchmarks that were developed by the U.S. Geological Survey in collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and others. HBSLs supplement existing Federal drinking-water standards and guidelines, thereby providing a basis for a more comprehensive evaluation of contaminant-occurrence data in the context of human health. Since the original methodology used to calculate HBSLs for unregulated contaminants was published in 2003, revisions have been made to the HBSL methodology in order to reflect updates to relevant USEPA policies. These revisions allow for the use of the most recent, USEPA peer-reviewed, publicly available human-health toxicity information in the development of HBSLs. This report summarizes the revisions to the HBSL methodology for unregulated contaminants, and updates the guidance on the use of HBSLs for interpreting water-quality data in the context of human health.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Development and Application of Health-Based Screening Levels for Use in Water-Quality Assessments
Scientific Investigations Report
Geological Survey (U.S.)
National Water Quality Assessment Program, California Water Science Center