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Environment

EPA refuses to remove toxic rocket fuel ingredient from drinking water

10 years, 10 months ago

1503  0
Posted on Sep 23, 2008, 8 a.m. By Rich Hurd

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has come under fire after they decided that there is no need to remove perchlorate, an ingredient in rocket fuel, from the water supply.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has come under fire after they decided that there is no need to remove perchlorate, an ingredient in rocket fuel, from the water supply.

Perchlorate has been found at levels that could pose a health risk in at least 35 states. High levels of the chemical are known to interfere with thyroid function and pose a risk to both pregnant women and their unborn babies. Perchlorate is particularly widespread in California and the Southwest, where it has been found in groundwater and in the Colorado River, a source of drinking-water for approximately 20 million people.

Despite the known problems surrounding perchlorate, a draft document produced by the EPA states that imposing a legal clean-up level for the chemical would not lead to a "meaningful opportunity for health risk reduction for persons served by public-water systems." The decision has led to widespread criticism of the agency and speculation that they have caved in to pressure from the Pentagon, an accusation which both the EPA and the Pentagon has strongly denied.

Recognizing the potential risks associated with perchlorate contamination of drinking water, several states have imposed their own limits. In California, the legal limit in drinking water is 6 parts per billion, whilst in Massachusetts it is 2 parts per billion.

EPA won't limit toxic pollutant in drinking water. Associated Press. September 22nd 2008.

 

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