Oct. 6, 2006 – Researchers for the Centers for Disease Control released a report Wednesday that found perchlorate â€“ a toxic chemical used to produce rocket fuel â€“ is more dangerous than originally thought.
Perchlorate is one of the main synthetic ingredients defense contractors use to make rocket and missile fuel, and it has leeched into drinking-water supplies According to the Environmental Protection Agency, perchlorate has been found in drinking water in 25 states. Most contamination appears to be from manufacturing by contractors as well as usage and dumping by the military.
The chemical has also been discovered in milk, as well as fruit and vegetables that have been irrigated with contaminated water. The researchers found that perchlorate lowers thyroid hormones in women who have ingested even minute amounts. Currently, the EPA does not have standards to regulate perchlorate in drinking water.
It had been previously established that perchlorate can lower the levels of thyroid hormones that are essential in fetus and infant development, and for overall good health in adults.
The new study analyzed the urine samples of more than 1,000 women from 2000 to 2001. CDC researches found that perchlorate is a "significant predictor" of inhibited iodine uptake, which can lead to hypothyroidism, a chemical imbalance that can cause obesity, joint pain, infertility and heart disease.
As previously reported by The NewStandard, in 2005, documents revealed the Bush administration conspired with defense contractors to downplay and undermine scientific investigations that revealed perchlorate to be dangerous to developing fetuses and children.
"This new study shows that even very small levels of perchlorate in water or food can have a marked effect on thyroid levels in women," said Renee Sharp, an analyst for the advocacy organization Environmental Working Group, in a press release. "We can't ignore this serious public health issue any longer."