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Rocket Fuel is Bad for Babies

The word for today is perchlorate.

On January 2nd of this year, the Organic Consumers Association reported that perchlorate, a key ingredient in rocket fuel, has been found in drinking water across the southwest. The testing was done by an independent non-profit group called the Environmental Working Group (EWG) which also publicized test results showing that this chemical (which impairs the thyroid’s ability to take up iodide and produce hormones), subsequently becomes highly concentrated in leafy vegetables that are grown with contaminated water – which includes the majority of lettuce sold in the US during the winter months.

To quote the Organic Consumers Association:

“Sworn depositions and other courtroom documents show that the giant aerospace and defense contractor Lockheed Martin, a major user of perchlorate, knew as early as 1997 that vegetables stored high concentrations of the chemical, but said nothing to the EPA or California state health officials… Overall, the vegetables were found to have an average of more than 2,600 micrograms of perchlorate per kilogram – thousands of times higher than what the EPA considers to be a safe amount…”

On May 5, EPA told a Senate hearing that it is now aware that perchlorate is widespread and poses health risks, but that there is a “distinct possibility” that they won’t be doing anything about it.

This is particularly shocking and upsetting to me as a momma, as the thyroid is responsible for controlling growth, development and metabolism in our little ones.

Thankfully, at least here in California, our representatives are working for us. Last January, Senator Barbara Boxer introduced legislation to address this problem. This May, she headed up a hearing by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on the topic where she voiced her opinion that the EPA has done “very little” and said that “there is nothing more important than ensuring that the water children and families drink every day must be safe…” Check out her full speech here.

What we can do as concerned mommas?

Get political. Lend your support to Boxer’s campaign. Email Senator Boxer to express your support for her campaign to regulate perchlorate. If you don’t live in California, write your own senators and tell them to get on board. Visit here for a full list of US Senators and their emails.

Get (and stay) informed. Check out the Organic Consumers Association website for a wealth of information on perchlorate. Check out their “Other Ways to Take Action” links for even more ways to make a difference.

Stay tuned. I will keep my eye on how this develops, and be sure to keep you posted.
Posted in My Blog on 06/23/2008 01:03 pm

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