2002 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 10 Oct 2002 14:57:20 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Clean-Up Confusion
[POSTED BY Jeff Douglas <caseyjones9@hotmail.com>- PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS

Clean-Up Confusion
Friday, September 27, 2002
By Steven Milloy

A rocket fuel component has been detected in drinking water sources in
18 states. It?s a limited problem the Environmental Protection Agency?s
junk science is about to make much worse.

U.S. missile and space programs used perchlorate as an oxidizer in solid
rocket propellants for decades. At some facilities where it was
disposed, perchlorate seeped into groundwater. Some nearby drinking
water wells were closed.

State and federal officials knew for years perchlorate was in some
drinking water. They didn?t worry, though, because the perchlorate was
generally below worrisome levels.

Now the EPA wants to set the "safe" level of perchlorate in drinking
water at effectively one part per billion (ppb). That standard would
subject more groundwater to expensive cleanup -- estimated at $6 billion
for Department of Defense facilities alone.

Lake Mead, serving Las Vegas and Southern California, has perchlorate
levels from eight ppb to 16 ppb. That water would need to be diluted
with other water at an estimated cost to local water districts of up to
$2 billion.

Before taxpayers bear billions in costs, a closer look at the situation
is warranted.

The health effect the EPA is concerned about is hypothyroidism caused by
inhibition of iodine uptake by the thyroid gland. At sufficiently high
doses, perchlorate reduces the thyroid gland?s ability to take up iodine
from the blood. Iodine is essential to the production of thyroid

But the EPA ignores a fundamental tenet of toxicology -- the dose makes
the poison.

This can be demonstrated by comparing perchlorate?s iodine uptake
inhibition  to that of nitrate -- a substance that naturally occurs in
meats, dairy products and vegetables and that also inhibits the
thyroid?s uptake of iodine.

A serving of spinach, for example, causes about 300 times more iodine
uptake inhibition than the one ppb of perchlorate the EPA says someone
might  consume in two liters of groundwater.

This article can be viewed at:

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