You like fireworks?
I like them.
But not in my water, thank you very much.
Perchlorate is a chemical used in the production of rocket fuel, fireworks, missiles, and explosives. It can also be present in fertilizers and bleach.
This chemical is widespread particularly in areas where defense contracting and /or military operations and even aerospace projects are located.
The Department of Defense and NASA, for example, are big users of perchlorate. Perchlorate is both a man-made chemical but can also be found in nature.
Contamination of water with perchlorate happens from industrial sources, such as perchlorate manufacturing facilities and sites used for missile recycling, fireworks manufacturing and munitions disposal.
It is highly soluble in water and for this reason it’s pervasive in our waterways and food supply. Perchlorate is also a very stable chemical, it is found in water, soil and plants.
So, exposure is widespread, as stated in a scientific article by the National Institute of Health.
In this same article, they explain that perchlorate, as soon as it is ingested, is excreted mostly unchanged via urination. But, in lactating women however, perchlorate is taken up into breast milk as another site of excretion but is a source of exposure to breast-fed infants(!)
Perchlorate can disrupt the normal function of the thyroid gland in both children and adults.
In adults, the thyroid plays an important role in metabolism, making and storing hormones that help regulate heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and the rate at which food is converted into energy.
Perchlorate can interfere with the human body's ability to absorb iodine into the thyroid gland which is a critical element in the production of thyroid hormones.
The EPA is currently working on setting a standard for how much of this chemical can be allowed in drinking water.
California is the only state that has a standard of 6 ppb (parts per billion) since 2004.
Do you know if there’s perchlorate in your town’s water?
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National Institute of Health, Perchlorate in water supplies, sources, exposure and health effects, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Scientific American, Perchlorate in drinking water raises health concerns, www.scientificamerican.com