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Rocket Fuel Found in Milk

Posted 10/24/2003
http://www.lubbockonline.com/stories/102203/edi_102203016.shtml

PERCHLORATE IS A substance that is found in rocket fuel. It has raised concerns on the South Plains because it has been found in well water in cities near Lubbock, and now it has been found in milk that has been sold in local supermarkets. The discovery of perchlorate in milk was discovered through a Texas Tech study that was done by The Institute of Evironmental and Human Health at Tech and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Graduate student Andrea Kirk found and analyzed the substance in seven bottles of milk and one can of evaporated milk while working on her dissertation. The milk was bottled in at least three different plant locations, and two of them were outside the state. We don't know why the contaminant is showing up in milk, but it clearly is something that needs to be studied further. Ernest Smith, associate professor at TIEHH, noted that the small number of samples is too small to determine a potential health hazard at this point. The Texas Department of Health's Division of Milk and Dairy will determine what is done next.

The situation is illustrative of the significance of research that is being conducted at Texas Tech. A study in which no perchlorate was expected to be found instead yielded information that could identify a potential problem and allow authorities to deal with it. Research projects at Tech are having positive effects on many aspects of life in America. Tech continues to grow in its importance as a research institution.

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