Return to Standards Table

CASRN: 7440235

Update: March 1994

Current Massachusetts Regulatory Limit
ORSGL = 20 mg/L

Federal Regulatory Limit
The U.S. EPA has not published an MCL for sodium.

Basis for Criteria
The ORSGL is not a health-based concentration. The origin of this number comes from the US FDA's approach for labeling bottled waters for their sodium content, which uses 5 mg or less per 8 oz serving to indicate that water is virtually sodium free; 35mg or less per serving or 197 mg/L is considered to be very low sodium; and 140 mg of sodium per serving or 789 mg/L is considered to be low sodium.

The 5 mg mass limit can be expressed on the basis of different water serving sizes to give two different concentrations:

  • 5 mg of sodium per 6 oz serving yields 28 mg/L.
  • 5 mg of sodium per 8 oz serving yields 20 mg/L.

The Massachusetts sodium guideline is based on an 8 oz serving size (MassDEP, 1992).

Critical Effects
Hypertension at very high concentrations

Cancer Assessment: N/A


Analytical Information
: See specific method as listed below.

Analytical Methods
U.S. EPA Method 200.7 (inductively coupled plasma)
SM Method 3111B (atomic absorption (direct aspiration))

(U.S. EPA, 1994)

PQLs and analytical methods may have been updated since this guidance value was last revised. Updated analytical methods for drinking water and their associated PQLs may be found at US EPA Drinking Water Analytical Methods .

Other Regulatory Data
Any Health Advisories, Reference Doses (RfDs), cancer assessments or Cancer Potency Factors (CPFs) referenced in this document pertain to the derivation of the current guidance value. Updated information may be obtained from the following sources:

Health Advisories - The U.S. EPA provides guidance for shorter-term exposures for chemicals based on their non-cancer effects. Current health advisories may be more current than those used to derive MCLs and may be found at US EPA Current Drinking Water Health Advisories .

RfDs, cancer assessments and CPFs - For specific information pertaining to derivation of drinking water criteria, consult the Federal Register notice that announces the availability of the most current guidance for that chemical. In addition, information on other current RfDs and CPFs as well as cancer assessments for specific chemicals may be found in the U.S. EPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) at Please note that the information in IRIS may differ from that used in the derivation process as published in the Federal Register notice.

MassDEP (Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection). 1992. Review of the Current Sodium Standard. Memorandum dated July 30, 1992 from Nick Anastas, ORS to Julie Smith, DWS. Office of Research and Standards.

U.S. EPA. (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). May 1994. Methods for the determination of metals in environmental samples-supplement. EPA/600/R-94/111.

[20] All detections of sodium must be reported. Please refer to 310 CMR 22.06A for the specific requirements. The sodium guideline of 20 mg/L is based on an eight (8) ounce serving.