2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: llladd@sprintmail.com
Date: 30 Jun 2003 14:19:10 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
The published toxicology is thin, scattered and contradictory  in regards to
what constitutes a 'safe' level in drinking water for both perchlorate and
chlorate. Perchlorate has a greater effect on the sodium iodide symporter,
and thus may be the more potent developmental toxin, but chlorate is
generally more reactive and thus more broadly mutagenic.

If my memory serves me correctly, 800 ppb is the California mcl (legal
limit) for chlorate in drinking water as a disinfection byproduct.

Chemists tell me chlorate is more reactive than perchlorate in both solid
and dissolved form.  Perchlorate is a couple of orders magnitude more
efficient than chlorate at inhibiting the sodium iodide symporter, yet Dr.
Nancy Carrasco suggests as a working hypothesis that perchlorate oxidizes
the symporter while chlorate just passes through.
In vivo chlorate does not appear to oxidize thyroid tissue, while in vitro
chlorate will eat thyroid tissue right up (Wolff 1967).

Bear in mind that the numbers for "safe" levels of perchlorate currently
being bandied about --1 to 6 ppb by the regulators, 200 ppb by the
Pentagon -- are for reference doses or public health goals, not the ultimate
legal limit (mcl), which is on the order of 800 (California) to1000 (US EPA)
ppb for chlorate.

It's my hunch that the perchlorate numbers are so much lower than chlorate
because: 1. Perchlorate probably has a greater capacity to persist and
bioconcentrate in the environment, e.g. because perchlorate is less reactive
than chlorate, it likely accumulates more readily in irrigated crops.
Chlorate is more likely to hurt a plant, and thus less likely to enter the
human food supply. 2. Chlorate in drinking water, like other drinking water
disinfection byproducts, is considered a necessary evil. No such rationale
can support the addition of perchlorate to the drinking water supply. To
look at it another way, we may have to be tougher on perchlorate because we
have allowed so many other anti-thyroid anions like nitrate and chlorate in
our water supply that there is no more room in the regulatory inn for yet
another anti-thyroid anion, especially one like perchlorate that may act
synergistically with the others by disabling the molecule designed to get
these toxins out of the body (the sodium iodide symporter).

Chlorate is used to defoliate cotton and to bleach wood pulp for paper

At high doses chlorate is known to interfer with proper function of the CD44
cell adhesion molecule, presumably by inhibiting proper sulfation. I have
asked if perchlorate has a similar and perhaps more potent effect on CD44.
Such a quality could be relevant to how some exposed folks here in Rancho
Cordova became ill.

Larry Ladd
----- Original Message -----
From: <dzweifel@sbcglobal.net>
To: "cpeo-military" <cpeo-military@igc.topica.com>
Sent: Thursday, June 26, 2003 6:54 PM

> To all interested parties:
> In answer to the query regarding Potassium Chlorate the following
> may assist one in determining whether to file a legal request for a site
> characterization or not.
> Potassium Chlorate, KClO-3, AKA Chlorate of Potash. Its molecular weight
> 122.55, melting point is 356 degrees C. This compound is a highly reactive
> oxidizing agent. It is used in the production of matchstick heads,
fireworks &
> explosives.
> This compound also has moderate solubility in "cold" water & the visual
> appearance of a colorless crystalline powder.
> As a strong oxidizer any contact with a combustible material will cause
> ignition.
> The toxicological aspects indicate that the airborne particulates are
> a hazardous irritant to human health affecting the epidermis, respiratory
> & mucus membranes.
> Whereas Potassium Perchlorate or KClO-4 has an extra oxygen atom thereby
> differentiating it from Potassium Chlorate.
> It's molecularly more complex & is heavier with a molecular weight of
> Potassium Perchlorate is far more dangerous as a risk to human health.
> As a matter of potential interest there is still an on-going release of
> chemical near the rocket fuel plant in Henderson, Nevada. In spite of
> efforts to curb the leachate significant quantities are still seeping into
> Colorado River according to informed sources.
> Tests indicate a 3-4 ppb concentration depending on how far down stream
> sampling. The MWD or Metropolitan Water District of California is
> blending water from the Feather River to try to offset this alarming
> Some sites of particular interest regarding the above:
> OEHHA Perchlorate Fact Sheet:
> <www.oehha.org/public_info/facts/perchloratefacts.html>
> Calif. Dept. of Health Services:
> <www.dhs.ca.gov/ps/ddwem/chemicals/perchl/perchindex.htm>
> EPA Gnd Water & Drinking Water:
> <www.epa.gov/safewater/ccl/perchlorate/perchlorate.html>
> EPA Technology Innovation Office:
> <www.clu-in.org/perchlorate>
> Don Zweifel
> MCAS Tustin, Ca.
> RAB Co-chair
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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