Feb 2, 2011

EPA Will Regulate Perchlorate as CA Considers Lower, 1-ppb Limit

U.S. EPA announced today that it will reverse a George W. Bush-era stance and consider setting new federal drinking water standards for the rocket fuel component perchlorate, linked to thyroid problems and other developmental impediments. The agency determined today that perchlorate presents a public health threat, saying that a proposal is on the way. An August study by the Government Accountability Office found the chemical -- which occurs naturally as well as in man-made form -- across 45 states, in water supplies that are used by between 5 million and 17 million Americans. Speaking just after a testy exchange in which Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) accused EPA of unleashing an "onslaught of job-crushing regulations," EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said her agency's eventual rules will be "sensible and practical." 
February 2, 2011

California is proposing a tougher target for the rocket fuel chemical perchlorate in drinking water, citing studies that linked minute amounts of the chemical to impaired thyroid function in infants. The current health goal -- for water considered safe for everyone -- is 6 parts perchlorate per billion parts water. On Friday, the state proposed lowering the goal to 1 part per billion ... Perchlorate impedes the thyroid gland's ability to absorb iodide, needed to make hormones that guide brain and nerve development and regulate metabolism. "Adults may go several days without iodide, which is an essential nutrient, but infants cannot store as much, so they need to have more consistent doses," Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment spokesman Sam Delson said.
Press Enterprise
Riverside, CA
January 9, 2011

1 comment:

Allen Hengst said...

In a 2/23/11 letter to the California OEHHA, the Natural Resources Defense Council writes:

"We are extremely concerned about the widespread presence of perchlorate in California drinking water. This chemical contaminates the drinking water of an estimated ten million Californians, and as of 2009 it has been found in 92 public water systems and 297 drinking water sources at levels at or above 4 parts per billion (ppb) ... Neonates and infants are most susceptible, both due to susceptibility to irreversible neurological effects from perchlorate-associated iodine deficiency in the central nervous system, and due to increased exposure because of a greater relative consumption of fluids as a proportion of body weight. Breastfeeding neonates and infants must also be considered susceptible due to the evidence that perchlorate is actively sequestered in breast milk ... That same study and others have reported elevated levels of perchlorate in breastmilk, above levels found in maternal urine or in local drinking water."


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