Kathy Posner

The U.S. Environmental Protective Agency (EPA) announced last week that it is developing a national standard for how much perchlorate (a naturally occurring and man-made chemical found in rocket propellant, fireworks and explosives) can be in our drinking water. That begs the question of "why wasn’t there a standard before?"

According to Reuters, “The agency's decision to regulate perchlorate reverses a Bush-era decision that provided a guideline of 15 parts of perchlorate for every billion parts of water.” The change came about because, “scientific research indicates that this contaminant can disrupt the thyroid’s ability to produce hormones that are critical to developing fetuses and infants."

At the time of the announcement about perchlorate, the EPA also said it will be addressing standards for up to 16 more toxic chemicals that may pose a risk to our health. "Our decisions are based on extensive review of the best available science and the health needs of the American people," said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.

On the other said, we have the Perchlorate Information Bureau (PIB) which said "despite 50 years of scientific research that indicate the low levels of perchlorate being detected in the environment have no effect on human health, much is already being done – even in the absence of a regulatory standard – to further ensure public health is protected."

So who do we believe is correct? The EPA or the PIB?

The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) said the upcoming regulation is “huge news.” Their attorney, Mae Wu posted on her blog, “EPA's decision to regulate perchlorate will not only protect our health but reverses bad public policy that has put us at risk for years. Those mostly responsible for all the perchlorate in our water, including the Department of Defense, have – until today – successfully stopped our government from doing anything about the contamination.”

So it seems like our own government’s Department of Defense (DOD) is one of the biggest offenders in causing the problem!

So while the EPA, PIB, NRDC and DOD fight it out, I just want clean H2O!

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