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You don't have to be a rocket scientist

...to know that rocket fuel ingredients are not the best chemicals to have in our drinking water, or baby formula.
Written by Harry Fuller, Contributor

...to know that rocket fuel ingredients are not the best chemicals to have in our drinking water, or baby formula. Now, I've sworn off baby formula, but I'm still hitting the water faucet with addictive regularlity.

What's up? Actually, what's down, as in the ground and ground-water? Perchlorate. Here's Environmental Working Group's (EWG) analysis of the contaimination found during federal Center for Disease Control (CDC) testing. EWG's pushing the lcurrent EPA to reverse earlier rulings on perchlorates. They say perchlorate salts are thyroid toxins. And the CDC says it is found in drinking water across the land, and in much domestic cow's-milk-derived baby formula. Perchlorate does interfere with the thyroid's ability to use the iodine it needs to function. We can't blame this one on China. It's our own rocket and missile testing and fireworks since World War Two that sprinkled perchlorate across the land. The percholorate problem is especially bad in California, once the heart of the aerospace industry back in the days....

Then previous regime at the EPA ruled that perchlorate was not a human health hazard, thereby saving the Defense Depatment and private aerospace contractors millions of dollars in clean-up. Some states have enacted perchlorate concentration limits for drinking water. Here's the Food and Drug Administration's webpage on perchlorates in our food and water. Here's the website put together by the industrial firms linked to the perchlorate prob.

The perchlorate ion is ClO4-, and is most often used as ammonium perchlorate or potassium perchlorate. In rocket fuel it serves as an oxidizer. When heated the perchlorate ions break down and release O2. Perchlorates are also used in many fireworks, thus getting into the water system that way as well. The perchlorate salts are derived from perchloric acid, HClO4.

The FDA says you can get home water filters that remove the perchlorate ions from tap water. Does that sound like a greentech business waiting to happen? Here's thre NRDC's guide to existing water filters and how to determine which ones work for which water contaminants.

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