2005 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: 1 Mar 2005 22:24:57 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Industry release on breast milk reports
Council on Water Quality
March 1, 2005


Unnecessary alarm, controversy created

A report released on Feb. 23 from Texas Tech University on perchlorate
in breast milk created the false impression that nursing mothers and
their infants were at immediate risk and that sensitive populations
hadn't been considered by the nation's leading experts on the subject.

The Texas Tech breast milk report failed to acknowledge the fact that
the National Academy of Sciences' (NAS) expert panel's report on
perchlorate dealt squarely with the issue of safety to pregnant women,
fetuses and infants in crafting its recommendations, and included
several unprecedented safety factors. (See NAS report at
http://books.nap.edu/books/0309095689/html/9.html) The U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) followed NAS' lead in setting its
reference dose on Feb. 18, and in calculating the drinking water
equivalent level for the reference dose at 24.5 parts per billion.

In a Feb. 25, 2005 news report, Dr. Richard B. Johnston, associate dean
for research at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, a
pediatrician and head of the NAS panel on perchlorate, told the Rocky
Mountain News that NAS researchers applied conservative safety factors
specifically to protect the most vulnerable populations. Dr. Johnston
was quoted as follows: "Based on the science in the (NAS) report and the
committee's interpretation of science, (the levels found in breast milk)
wouldn't be considered unsafe."

The NAS, the EPA and California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard
Assessment each already considered the types of exposures studied in the
Texas Tech report. Their evaluations for safe doses of perchlorate
provided appropriate safety factors and other adjustments in recent
scientific and regulatory reviews to ensure that recommended exposure
levels were safe for all populations, including pregnant women, their
fetuses and nursing infants. 

In addition, data relating to breast milk was made available as a matter
of public record to all three of these entities based upon previous
human studies conducted in Chile. The findings in Chile were consistent
with those in the Texas Tech study. 

# # # 

The Council on Water Quality is supported by a subset of the member
companies of the Perchlorate Study Group, including Lockheed Martin,
Aerojet, Kerr-McGee Chemical and American Pacific Corporation. In the
past decade, the Perchlorate Study Group has worked cooperatively with
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to increase scientific and
medical understanding of perchlorate's risk to human health.

For the original press release, go to
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