Hearing on "Perchlorate: Health and Environmental Impacts of Unregulated Exposure"
WASHINGTON, April 25 — A series of critical new studies by scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that the EPA's proposed safe exposure level for the rocket fuel contaminant perchlorate is not protective of public health.
In the past year, CDC scientists have found that a significant number of women are at risk of thyroid hormone depression from perchlorate exposure. Further studies show that breast milk may have even more worrisome levels of perchlorate that put the nation's infants at risk for developmental problems.
"Leading international scientists find that exposure to common chemicals during the prenatal period and infancy could cause serious and permanent developmental damage to babies, and they have called on us to focus our efforts on prevention of toxic exposures in these highly vulnerable populations. This strong, unanimous agreement among these 200 experts is a wake up call to Congress that it is time to ensure chemicals used in consumer products are examined for safety risks to babies. For far too long, the chemical industry has been allowed to function without any federal oversight. It is time to reform our current chemicals policy--the Toxic Substances Control Act--to ensure that chemicals are safe for babies before they are put on the market. Senators Lautenberg and Representative Waxman's Kid Safe Chemicals Act would put these safety standards in place. All members of Congress should co-sponsor this legislation when it is reintroduced," said Anila Jacob, MD. MPH, and Senior Scientist with the Environmental Working Group.
Environmental Working Group strongly supports the efforts of Representative Solis and the cosponsors of the Safe Drinking Water for Healthy Communities Act of 2007, H.R. 1747. This legislation is a critical step in establishing a health protective drinking water standard for perchlorate.
EWG is a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, DC that uses the power of information to protect human health and the environment. The group's research on this issue as well as the CDC/BU report and the letter to EPA are available online at http://ewg.org/issues/perchlorate/20070329/.