Monday, April 30, 2007

Rocket Fuel in Drinking Water

Rocket Fuel in Drinking Water:
Perchlorate Pollution Spreading Nationwide

Drinking water for more than 20 million Americans is contaminated with a toxic legacy of the Cold War: A chemical that interferes with normal thyroid function, may cause cancer and persists indefinitely in the environment, but is currently unregulated by state or federal authorities.

Perchlorate, the explosive main ingredient of rocket and missile fuel, contaminates drinking water supplies, groundwater or soil in hundreds of locations in at least 43 states, according to Environmental Working Group’s updated analysis of government data. EWG’s analysis of the latest scientific studies, which show harmful health effects from minute doses, argues that a national standard for perchlorate in drinking water should be no higher than one-tenth the level the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency currrently recommends as safe.

Perchlorate is a powerful thyroid toxin that can affect the thyroid’s ability to take up the essential nutrient iodide and make thyroid hormones. Small disruptions in thyroid hormone levels during pregnancy can cause lowered IQ and larger disruptions cause mental retardation, loss of hearing and speech, or deficits in motor skills for infants and children.

In California, Arizona and Nevada, where testing has been most extensive, well over 20 million people drink water from public and private sources known to be polluted with perchlorate. This estimate includes millions of customers of 81 contaminated public water systems in California and aproximately 20 million customers in the three states who get at least part of their drinking water from the perchlorate-tainted Colorado River. (Because there is some overlap between systems that are supplied by groundwater sources and those supplied by the Colorado River, a total cannot be calculated by adding the two figures.)

Link: Perchlorate-contaminated drinking water sources in California.

Link: More than 20 million people in California, Arizona and Nevada get at least part of their drinking water from the perchlorate-contaminated Colorado River.

Read the rest of Rocket Fuel in Drinking Water at

Read about more poison at Poison Spectrum

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