Perchlorates: Turning our Water into Rocket Fuel

In the 90's the Environmental Protection Agency started finding perchlorates, an oxydizer in solid rocket fuel, in water everywhere and started worrying. They did a study to find the minimum concentration that would affect baby rats and they never found it- at the lowest dose tested they still found changes in brain and thyroid development. They proposed a standard (one part per billion in drinking water) and the Pentagon opposed it with a study of the study, hiring the same consultant who worked on the first study to criticize it. They complained to the White House, which told the EPA to back off, and sent it off to the National Research Council, where a panel of scientists came up with a level of 24 ppb in drinking water, assuming that one gets perchlorates from no other sources. (The EPA assumed only 20% would come from drinking water and the rest from fruit, vegetables and dairy products) Now, the Pentagon and the White house are issuing this standard under the EPA's name.

So this is how it works- the Pentagon wants perchlorates for rockets, battlefield weapons and munitions. The stuff is pervasive in water, things that grow in water (fruit and vegetables) and that drink water (breast milk and dairy products) It is bad for babies and not so terrific for thyroids everywhere. Guess who wins.

And all this from the Wall Street Journal, republished in ::Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

and our newyears resolution is to be positive, upbeat and non-political.


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