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Perchlorate: You might not know how to pronounce it, but it's in you

Friday, January 25, 2008

In an ideal world, rocket fuel would not be in people. But we don't live in the ideal world, and perchlorate, a potent chemical ingredient of rocket fuel, is in all of us. A new EWG analysis of FDA data shows that three quarters of 285 commonly consumed foods and beverages are contaminated with perchlorate, a toxic rocket fuel ingredient. That means that every day, the average two-year-old is exposed to more than half of the EPA "safe" dose of perchlorate from food alone. This is especially troubling in the 28 states that also are exposed to perchlorate through contaminated tap water. Perchlorate can affect the thyroid gland, and adequate levels of thyroid hormones are necessary for normal brain development. In addition, toddlers are particularly vulnerable because they eat and drink substantial amounts of food and water relative to their small size. Also affected by perchlorate levels are women with lowered iodide levels. That is about 1/3 of women in the U.S. What we need is a federal standard that would protect the public from this potent chemical. Perchlorate in food is harder to manage because the source of contamination is still not clear. However, people can control their intake of perchlorate in the water by using good filtration system. The best first step is to call your local water utility and see if they found perchlorate in the water you are drinking. Jennifer Bowles has more on pending legislation on her blog. Photo: Lunar Launch by jurvetson

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