2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 3 Mar 2003 19:25:48 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] BOXER INTRODUCES BILL TO REGULATE PERCHLORATE
 
For Immediate Release:
March 3, 2003

For More Information:
David Sandretti,
(202) 224 - 8120

BOXER INTRODUCES BILL TO REGULATE PERCHLORATE

Toxic chemical in drinking water can cause birth defects and children's
developmental problems

Washington, DC  U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today introduced
legislation to protect drinking water from contamination by the toxic
chemical perchlorate.

Boxer's bill would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to
establish a standard for perchlorate contamination in drinking water
supplies by July 1, 2004. Under EPA's current schedule, 2006 is the
earliest date a standard would be finalized.

"Perchlorate is a clear and present danger to California's public
health," said Boxer.  "We can't wait four more years to address this
threat. EPA needs to get moving and protect our drinking water sooner
rather than later."

Drinking water sources for at least 7 million Californians and millions
of other Americans are contaminated with perchlorate.  Perchlorate is
the main ingredient in missile and rocket fuel, which accounts for 90
percent of its use.

Perchlorate is also used for ammunition, fireworks, highway safety
flares, air bags, and fertilizers.  It dissolves readily in many
liquids, including water, and moves easily and quickly through cracks
and water.

Perchlorate was first discovered in drinking water in 1957.  The
chemical has been demonstrated to pose a variety of serious health risks
relating to thyroid function, especially in newborns, children, and
pregnant women.  Exposure to perchlorate  interferes with the thyroid
gland's ability to produce the hormones needed for normal prenatal
development. This can cause both physical and mental retardation.
Perchlorate is also linked to thyroid cancer.

Californians face special threats from perchlorate contamination because
so many rockets and missiles were built and tested in the state during
World War II and the Cold War.  Groundwater can become contaminated
wherever the chemical is manufactured, used, disposed of, or stored.

Alarming levels of perchlorate have been discovered in Lake Mead and the
Colorado River, the drinking water source for millions of Southern
Californians.

Communities in the Inland Empire,  San Gabriel Valley, Santa Clara
Valley, and the Sacramento area are also grappling with perchlorate
contamination.
 #

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