Environmental connections to public health >>
CA City Protects Infants from Rocket Fuel Contamination
Perchlorate may cause mental retardation, loss of hearing and speech, abnormal testicular development, and deficits in motor skills by disrupting the production of thyroid hormones in fetuses, infants, and children.
Recently, the EPA announced a preliminary reference dose for perchlorate in drinking water -- enforceable federal standards are years away -- of 24.5 parts per billion. But California has adopted a public health goal of 6 ppb,
while Massachusetts' proposed standard is just 1 ppb. EWG, which has been investigating perchlorate since 1999, says to fully protect fetuses and kids, the standard should be no higher than 0.1 ppb. (View EWG Report on Perchlorate)
City officials in Rialto followed the precautionary principle by shutting down wells even when perchlorate levels did not exceed the EPA's preliminary RfD or the California public health goal. Other cities and towns in the 36
states with rocket fuel in their water should look to Rialto as a model for how municipalities can protect their citizens even in the absence of state or federal regulations.