San Jose, CA


San Jose, CA

The City of San Jose is home to an estimated 1,035,317 residents, and it’s located in Santa Clara County, CA.

This report will help you become better acquainted with San Jose and the surrounding area by addressing the following questions:

  • Are there any hazardous sites in Santa Clara County, CA?
  • How clean is the air in Santa Clara County, CA?
  • What’s the average radon level for homes in Santa Clara County, CA?
  • Is the water in Santa Clara County, CA safe to drink?

Hazardous Sites near San Jose, CA

There are 22 Superfund sites in Santa Clara County, CA. Superfund sites, like South Bay Asbestos Area in Alviso, CA, are areas that have been contaminated with hazardous substances. If not for the cleanup efforts orchestrated by the EPA, these sites could endanger people living in nearby communities.

The EPA uses the Hazardous Ranking System (HRS) to quantify the risk a contaminated site poses to human health and the environment. Sites assigned HRS scores of 28.5 or greater qualify for placement on the National Priorities List (NPL), and are eligible to receive federal funding for cleanup efforts.

Before the EPA deletes a site from the NPL, it conducts reviews to ensure the cleanup was sufficient. As a result, some sites remain on the active site list long after cleanup activities are complete.

For more information about the Superfund sites located in the San Jose, CA area, be sure to review the map and background information provided below:


Map Legend:

06085

A. South Bay Asbestos Area (HRS Score: 45)

The South Bay Asbestos Area site, used to dispose of asbestos wastes from an asbestos-cement pipe manufacturer from 1953 to 1982, is located in Alviso, CA.

The EPA found dangerous levels of Asbestos at the South Bay Asbestos Area site.

06085

B. Fairchild Semiconductor Corp. (South San Jose Plant) (HRS Score: 44)

The Fairchild Semiconductor Corp. (South San Jose Plant) site, used for electronics and semiconductor fabrication from 1977 to 1983, is located in San Jose, CA.

Contaminants found at the Fairchild Semiconductor Corp. (South San Jose Plant) site include:

  • 1,1-Dichloroethene
  • Trichloroethane (Mixed Isomers)
  • Xylene (Mixed Isomers)
  • 1,1,2-Trichloro-1,2,2-Trifluoroethane
  • Acetone
06085

C. Westinghouse Electric Corp. (Sunnyvale Plant) (HRS Score: 40)

The Westinghouse Electric Corp. (Sunnyvale Plant) site, a former electrical transformer manufacturing facility, is located in Sunnyvale, CA.

Contaminants found at the Westinghouse Electric Corp. (Sunnyvale Plant) site include:

  • Benzene
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
  • 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene
  • 1,3-Dichlorobenzene
  • 1,1-Dichloroethane
06085

D. Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (HRS Score: 38)

The Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. site, used to design and fabricate semiconductor devices from 1969 to 1992, is located in Sunnyvale, CA.

Contaminants found at the Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. site include:

  • 1,1,1-Trichloroethane
  • 1,1-Dichloroethene
  • 1,1,2-Trichloro-1,2,2-Trifluoroethane
  • Tetrachloroethene
  • Trichloroethene
06085

E. Spectra-Physics, Inc. (HRS Score: 37)

The Spectra-Physics, Inc. site, the location of an electronics and gas laser manufacturing operation since 1961, is located in Mountain View, CA.

Contaminants found at the Spectra-Physics, Inc. site include:

  • Chloroform
  • Trans-1,2-Dichloroethene
  • 1,1,2-Trichloroethane
  • 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene
  • Tetrachloroethene
06085

F. Monolithic Memories (HRS Score: 36)

The Monolithic Memories site, used for semiconductor manufacturing, is located in Sunnyvale, CA.

Contaminants found at the Monolithic Memories site include:

  • Benzene
  • Chloroform
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)
  • Voc
  • Xylene (Mixed Isomers)
06085

G. National Semiconductor Corp. (HRS Score: 36)

The National Semiconductor Corp. site, used to manufacture electronic equipment, is located in Santa Clara, CA.

Contaminants found at the National Semiconductor Corp. site include:

  • Benzene
  • Chloroform
  • 1,2-Dichlorobenzene
  • 2,4-Dimethylphenol
  • 1,4-Dichlorobenzene
06085

H. Jasco Chemical Corp. (HRS Score: 35)

The Jasco Chemical Corp. site, used to repackage and formulate chemical products from 1976 until 1995, is located in Mountain View, CA.

Contaminants found at the Jasco Chemical Corp. site include:

  • Benzene
  • Trichloroethene
  • 1,1-Dichloroethene
  • 1,2-Dichloroethane
  • Methanol
06085

I. Teledyne Semiconductor (HRS Score: 35)

The Teledyne Semiconductor site, used to manufacture semiconductors beginning in 1962, is located in Mountain View, CA.

Contaminants found at the Teledyne Semiconductor site include:

  • Trichloroethene
  • 1,1-Dichloroethene
  • 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene
  • 1,2-Dichloroethene (Cis And Trans Mixture)
  • 1,1-Dichloroethane
06085

J. CTS Printex, Inc. (HRS Score: 34)

The CTS Printex, Inc. site, a former circuit board manufacturing facility, is located in Mountain View, CA.

Contaminants found at the CTS Printex, Inc. site include:

  • Benzene
  • Chloroform
  • 1,2-Dichloroethene (Cis And Trans Mixture)
  • Trichloroethane (Mixed Isomers)
  • Tetrachloroethene
06085

K. Lorentz Barrel & Drum Co. (HRS Score: 34)

The Lorentz Barrel & Drum Co. site, where a waste drum reconditioning and recycling facility operated from 1947 to 1987, is located in San Jose, CA.

Contaminants found at the Lorentz Barrel & Drum Co. site include:

  • Arsenic
  • Benzene
  • Chloroform
  • Chromium
  • Lead
06085

L. Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (Building 915) (HRS Score: 32)

The Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (Building 915) site, used for semiconductor and microprocessor device manufacturing operations, is located in Sunnyvale, CA.

Contaminants found at the Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (Building 915) site include:

  • Benzene
  • Chloroform
  • Chromium
  • Toluene
  • 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene
06085

M. Applied Materials (HRS Score: 32)

The Applied Materials site, used to manufacture equipment for the fabrication of semiconductor wafers, is located in Santa Clara, CA.

Contaminants found at the Applied Materials site include:

  • Chloroform
  • Cis-1,2-Dichloroethene
  • 1,1,2-Trichloro-1,2,2-Trifluoroethane
  • Trans-1,2-Dichloroethene
  • Tetrachloroethene
06085

N. Fairchild Semiconductor Corp. (Mountain View Plant) (HRS Score: 32)

The Fairchild Semiconductor Corp. (Mountain View Plant) site, a former semiconductor manufacturing facility, is located in Mountain View, CA.

Contaminants found at the Fairchild Semiconductor Corp. (Mountain View Plant) site include:

  • Antimony
  • Arsenic
  • Cadmium
  • Chloroform
  • Lead
06085

O. Intel Magnetics (HRS Score: 32)

The Intel Magnetics site, used to produce and test magnetic products and computer memories, is located in Santa Clara, CA.

Contaminants found at the Intel Magnetics site include:

  • Benzene
  • Chloroform
  • 1,2-Dichloroethane
  • Trichlorofluoromethane
  • Trans-1,2-Dichloroethene
06085

P. Synertek, Inc. (Building 1) (HRS Score: 32)

The Synertek, Inc. (Building 1) site, used for semiconductor manufacturing operations from 1974 until 1985, is located in Santa Clara, CA.

Contaminants found at the Synertek, Inc. (Building 1) site include:

  • Benzene
  • 1-Butanol (N-Butanol)
  • Bis(2-Ethylhexyl)Phthalate
  • Toluene
  • Butyl Benzyl Phthalate
06085

Q. TRW Microwave, Inc (Building 825) (HRS Score: 32)

The TRW Microwave, Inc (Building 825) site, the location of former microwave manufacturing and semiconductor processing activities, is located in Sunnyvale, CA.

Contaminants found at the TRW Microwave, Inc (Building 825) site include:

  • 1,1-Dichloroethene
  • 1,1-Dichloroethane
  • 1,2-Dichlorobenzene
  • 1,1,2-Trichloro-1,2,2-Trifluoroethane
  • Chloroethene (Vinyl Chloride)
06085

R. Hewlett-Packard (620-640 Page Mill Road) (HRS Score: 30)

The Hewlett-Packard (620-640 Page Mill Road) site, a former electronics manufacturing facility, is located in Palo Alto, CA.

Contaminants found at the Hewlett-Packard (620-640 Page Mill Road) site include:

  • Arsenic
  • Benzene
  • Voc
  • Tetrachloroethene
  • Dichloromethane (Methylene Chloride)
06085

S. Intel Corp. (Mountain View Plant) (HRS Score: 30)

The Intel Corp. (Mountain View Plant) site, where semiconductors were manufactured from 1968 to 1981, is located in Mountain View, CA.

Contaminants found at the Intel Corp. (Mountain View Plant) site include:

  • Antimony
  • Arsenic
  • Cadmium
  • Chloroform
  • Lead
06085

T. Raytheon Corp. (HRS Score: 30)

The Raytheon Corp. site, a former semiconductor products manufacturing facility, is located in Mountain View, CA.

Contaminants found at the Raytheon Corp. site include:

  • Antimony
  • Arsenic
  • Cadmium
  • Chloroform
  • Lead
06085

U. Intersil Inc./Siemens Components (HRS Score: 29)

The Intersil Inc./Siemens Components site is located in Cupertino, CA.

Contaminants found at the Intersil Inc./Siemens Components site include:

  • Trichloroethane (Mixed Isomers)
  • Trichloroethene
  • 1,1,1-Trichloroethane
  • Phenol
  • 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene
06085

V. Moffett Field Naval Air Station (HRS Score: 29)

The Moffett Field Naval Air Station site is located in Moffett Field, CA.

Contaminants found at the Moffett Field Naval Air Station site include:

  • Antimony
  • Arsenic
  • Benzene
  • Beryllium
  • Cadmium

Air Quality in the San Jose, CA Area

The two most widespread forms of air pollution are ozone (smog) and particle pollution (soot). Exposure to these harmful pollutants, for even just a short period, can have adverse effects on your health.

Thanks to data collected by air monitoring equipment located across the country, the American Lung Association (ALA) is able to assess and track our air quality using three metrics:

  • Ozone
  • Short-term Particle Pollution
  • Year-round Particle Pollution

In their 2019 annual report, the ALA rated the air quality in Santa Clara County, CA as follows:

Ground-Level
Ozone Pollution

Grading Scale: A-F

Short-Term
Particle Pollution

Grading Scale: A-F

Year-Round
Particle Pollution

Grading Scale: Pass/Fail

Radon Levels in San Jose, CA Area

Air quality inside your home can be impacted by a number of factors, including the presence of hazardous substances in building materials (asbestos, lead, formaldehyde, etc.) and local radon levels.

Radon is a naturally occurring gas you cannot see or smell. It can build up inside your home and negatively impact your indoor air quality as well as your health.

To provide a guideline, the EPA assigned one of three zones to each U.S. county and county equivalent:

  • Zone 1 (higher radon levels)
  • Zone 2 (moderate levels)
  • Zone 3 (lower levels)

Indoor radon readings in Santa Clara County, CA are expected to average from 2 to 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L), so the county has been assigned EPA Radon Zone 2.

EPA Radon Zone

According to the EPA, you should consider acting to reduce your home's radon level if it measures between 2 and 4 pCi/L, so if you're contemplating buying a home in San Jose, CA, you should have a radon test performed.

Water Quality in San Jose, CA Area

In accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the EPA sets regulatory limits for drinking water contaminants known to cause adverse health effects.

The following Santa Clara County, CA water provider(s) violated the maximum allowable level for one or more regulated contaminants:

Filter ValueWater SystemContaminantHealth Effects
06085City of CupertinoTTHMLiver, kidney, or central nervous system problems; increased risk of cancer 
06085City of Morgan HillNitrateInfants below the age of six months who drink water containing nitrate in excess of the MCL could become seriously ill and, if untreated, may die. Symptoms include shortness of breath and blue-baby syndrome. 
06085Emerald Valley Mutual Water CompanyNitrateInfants below the age of six months who drink water containing nitrate in excess of the MCL could become seriously ill and, if untreated, may die. Symptoms include shortness of breath and blue-baby syndrome. 
06085Foothill Mutual WaterNitrateInfants below the age of six months who drink water containing nitrate in excess of the MCL could become seriously ill and, if untreated, may die. Symptoms include shortness of breath and blue-baby syndrome. 
06085Stanford UniversityTotal Haloacetic Acids (HAA5)Increased risk of cancer 
06085Twin Valley IncNitrateInfants below the age of six months who drink water containing nitrate in excess of the MCL could become seriously ill and, if untreated, may die. Symptoms include shortness of breath and blue-baby syndrome. 

In addition to setting enforceable standards for harmful contaminants, the EPA also established guidelines to assist public water providers in managing the taste, odor and color of their drinking water.

To find out more about what’s in your drinking water, contact your utility company and request a copy of the latest Consumer Confidence Report.


Sources and Methods

Hazardous Sites: Identified using a report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), hazardous sites detailed on trendingtowns.com represent sites contained on the National Priorities List (NPL) as of November 25, 2019.  The NPL is the list of national priorities among the known releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants throughout the United States and its territories.  All site-related data was sourced from the EPA.

Air Quality: Grades for ozone, short-term particle pollution, and year-round particle pollution were obtained from State of the Air 2019, a report compiled by the American Lung Association.

Radon Zones: Radon zone designations were obtained using a public use dataset provided by the EPA (September 11, 2019).

Water Quality: Drinking water violation data was sourced from the Safe Drinking Water Information System (SDWIS), a public use database provided by the EPA.  The dataset included violations submitted to the database as of the third quarter of 2019.

Paul

I’ve moved several times over the years, so I know just how stressful it can be to relocate. I want to help put your mind at ease. That’s why I research and write about all the things I think you should consider when moving to a new town.

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