REPORT ON WIDESPREAD ROCKET FUEL POLLUTION
IN NATION'S FOOD AND WATER
of data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control indicates
that a toxic chemical in rocket fuel has severely contaminated
the nation's food and water supply (read the Environmental Working
Group study here).
warn that the chemical, known as perchlorate, could cause thyroid
deficiency in more than 2.2 million women of childbearing age.
thyroid deficiency could damage the fetus of pregnant women, if
left untreated. Perchlorate, the explosive ingredient in solid
rocket fuel, has leaked from military bases and defense and aerospace
contractors' plants in at least 22 states, contaminating drinking
water for millions of Americans.
massive complaints, defense contractors such as Kerr-McGee have
done little or nothing to clean up the pollution. Perchlorate
has also been widely detected in milk, lettuce, produce and other
foods. In an alarming study, the CDC found perchlorate in the
urine of every person tested. The OCA has mobilized thousands
of organic consumers to pressure the EPA and government officials
to begin a massive clean up of perchlorate for over a year.
The Environmental Working Groups new report is an anlaysis of
data originally released in 2005, when the National Academy of
Sciences (NAS) released its long anticipated report on the human
health effects of perchlorates, a byproduct of rocket fuel. Perchlorates,
which are a common pollutant near military sites, have
recently been found in the water at concerning levels in 22 states
as well as in 93% of lettuce and milk. 97% of breast
milk samples taken randomly from around the U.S. have tested
positive for perchlorates.
The government funded NAS report reveals that perchlorates are
roughly ten times more toxic to humans than the Department of
Defense has been claiming. Perchlorates can inhibit thyroid function,
cause birth defects and lower IQs, and are considered particularly
dangerous to children.
NAS report recommends human exposure at no more than .0007
milligrams per kilogram of body weight. The EPA has responded
to the report by recommending a
water standard reference dose of 24.5 ppb for perchlorate.
This is bad news for military sites and rocket fuel plants around
the country, including Henderson, Nevada, where
EPA well monitoring has found perchlorates at a level 30,000 times
higher than that. There are over 12,000 military sites in
the U.S. that are used for training with live explosives.
Pentagon is urging Congress to pass a new law that would allow
the military to freely violate a host of environmental regulations.
Readiness and Range Preservation Initiative," the legislation
would allow military facilities to ignore laws like the Clean
Air Act. The Pentagon claims environmental regulations are a threat
to national security, since they restrict the military.
To date, only one Senator has had the backbone to propose legislation
that would hold the military (and other perchlorate polluters)
responsible for this excessive pollution of the U.S. food and
Feinstein (CA) has proposed legislation that would spend $200
million to identify and clean up perchlorate sources and provide
grants for technologies to clean up existing contamination, while
holding perchlorate polluters responsible for cleanup efforts.
is imperative that we reduce the perchlorate in our drinking water
and protect Californians, especially pregnant women, the unborn,
infants, and young children from this threat to their health,"
said Feinstein of the bill.
HERE TO SEND INSTANT LETTER TO YOUR SENATORS!
CENTURY TIMELINE OF U.S. ROCKET FUEL POLLUTION SCANDAL
EPA releases draft report highlighting widespread water
contamination of a toxic rocket fuel byproduct known as
perchlorate. The report indicates that most of the pollution
is coming from U.S. military sites [Source]
2003 : Courtroom proceedings reveal that aerospace and
defense contractor Lockheed Martin was concealing documents
for several years indicating the company knew about toxic
levels of percholate contamination in the nation's vegetable
Senator Feinstein demands the military clean up perchlorate
pollution as a matter of public safety. The Department of
Defense responds by saying it must be exempt from perchlorate
liability, as a matter of anti-terrorist "readiness."
Bush Administration puts gag order on the Environmental
Protection Agency, mandating complete silence regarding
military perchlorate pollution and human health impacts.
FDA finds perchlorate in 93% of lettuce and milk samples
across the nation. Bush Administration requests no regulatory
action take place until the National Academy of Sciences
(NAS) concludes investigation of human health implications.
NAS announces perchlorates are as much as ten times as toxic
as what the Department of Defense had been claiming. Senator
Feinstein of California announces forthcoming bill proposal
to create federal perchlorate regulations and to allocate
funding for cleanup of existing contamination. [Source]
EPA adopts NAS recommendations and recommends weak reference
dose standards for drinking water without any public comment
or review. [Source]
Senator Feinstein files letter with EPA requesting a review
of perchlorate data and stricter perchlorate drinking water
The Environmental Working Group releases a study indicating
that perchlorate pollution has put 2.2 million women and
their children at risk. [Source]
the letter below
and we will send it to your Senators.
info will not be shared - privacy
regarding this issue?
only email questions if you have read this entire web page,
including investigating some of the external perchlorate research
links and news articles on the green navigation bar on the
right hand side of this page. Thank you. Send email to Craig
Minowa (Environmental Scientist) - Organic Consumers Association
AND ANSWERS ABOUT PERCHLORATE
What exactly is perchlorate?
Perchlorate is an oxidizing anion that originates as a contaminant
in ground and surface waters from the dissolution of ammonium,
potassium, magnesium, or sodium salts. Perchlorate is exceedingly
mobile in aqueous systems and can persist for many decades
under typical ground and surface water conditions. Ammonium
perchlorate is manufactured for use as the oxidizer component
and primary ingredient in solid propellant for rockets, missiles,
and fireworks. Because it is a reducing agent, it can undergo
a variety of intramolecular redox reactions that lead to the
release of gaseous products. Through such reactions, it acts
as a thrust booster. Perchlorate salts are also used on a
large scale as a component of air bag inflators. Perchlorate
salts are also used in nuclear reactors and electronic tubes,
as additives in lubricating oils, in tanning and finishing
leather, as a mordant for fabrics and dyes, in electroplating,
in aluminum refining, and in rubber manufacture, as a mordant
for fabrics and dyes, and in the production of paints and
enamels. Chemical fertilizer had been reported to be a potential
source of perchlorate contamination, but new investigations
by the EPA have determined that this is not an issue for agricultural
applications. Large-scale production of perchlorate-containing
chemicals in the United States began in the mid-1940s. Because
of its shelf life, perchlorate must be washed out of the United
States missile and rocket inventory to be replaced with
a fresh supply. Thus, large volumes have been disposed of
in various states since the 1950s.
Your alert should focus more on how the Department of Defense
and NASA pressured the National Academy of Sciences to create
weaker recommendations on allowable perchlorate levels.
The OCA prides itself on serving information to the public
that is 100% founded on fact. It is our feeling, as well,
that the military complex pressured the NAS into watering
down its report, but neither we, nor any other environmental
group out there, have any verifiable evidence of this (yet).
So, in contrast to other organizations, we do not, as of yet,
feel it's appropriate to trumpet such a headline. We are researching
this issue deeply and will continue to adjust our focus, as
we obtain more credible and verifiable data. Again, given
their track record, we assume that there was pressure from
the Department of Defense and NASA on this studies results,
but we cannot claim such a thing to be true, based strictly
on our assumptions, or we would lose the solid scientific
credibility that the OCA is known for.
I've seen newspaper articles that say the NAS report actually
suggests perchlorates are less toxic than previously thought.
What's up with that?
This is both true and untrue, depending on what studies you
are comparing. The 2002 EPA study claimed up to 1ppb of perchlorate
was safe for humans. The Department of Defense claimed up
to 200ppb was safe for humans. The NAS report claimed roughly
20ppb is safe for humans. The NAS study was funded in part
by the Department of Defense and NASA and two of the panel
members had ties to businesses that would be negatively impacted
by study results that would substantiate the EPA's claims
(thereby requiring literally billions of dollars of taxpayer
funding for cleanup). The study results, and media presentation,
were given a press spin that highlighted the fact that the
study allowed more than the EPA's recommendation. But failed
to mention that it was much closer to the EPA's claims than
the Department of Defense's claims. Nationwide produce tests
have found higher concentrations than 20ppb in some lettuce
grown in the West, and CA's current drinking water standard
is around 18ppb. In short, despite the media spin put on the
results, looking at the actual data, instead of TV and radio,
makes is very clear why Senator Feinstein is proposing this
Can I buy a water filtration unit fro my faucet that will
Yes. NSF has created a testing process to find filtration
systems that can reduce perchlorates down to 4ppb or less.
They are typically reverse osmosis systems. You can view a
full list of products here.
Helpful Links for Further Study on the Perchlorate Issue: