WASHINGTON – It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the risks of drinking the fuel that flies us to the moon. Or does it? Under pressure from the U.S. Defense Department and the Pentagon, the EPA is about to issue its final words on the regulation of perchlorate — a chemical used for rocket fuel — in drinking water. According to a document obtained by the Washington Post, the words may be written on a white flag.
After a six-year battle over regulation, the EPA is expected to surrender its insistence that the levels of some rocket fuel components be regulated. The Washington Post reports that White House officials have heavily edited the document, extracting key passages.
An unsafe level of perchlorate — thought to cause major thyroid problems in pregnant women, small children, and infants — already plagues the drinking water of an estimated 16.6 million, the document details. Other studies estimate 20 to 40 million people consume dangerously high levels of the chemical.
The anticipated EPA document leaves some scientists questioning the difference between objectives and objectivity. After reading the report, University of Massachusetts professor and thyroid specialist Robert Zoeller told the Post, “They have distorted the science to such an extent that they can justify not regulating. Infants and children will continue to be damaged, and that damage is significant.” The harm once done is irreversible, Zoeller says.
“Perchlorate has been a serious, persistent and widespread problem which threatens the health of our families, especially our children,” said Barbara Boxer, chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “For the Bush EPA to walk away from this problem and shrug off this danger is, in my view, unforgivable and immoral.”
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Source: The Washington Post