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Scientists warn of exposure to contaminated ground water

Toxic chemicals are used every day in industries across the country, including many here in Georgia. For several years now, scientists have warned the government, and specifically the Environmental Protection Agency, of the dangers of perchlorate, which is a chemical component in explosives. This toxic substance is used in food packaging, airbags and fireworks, not to mention munitions and rocket fuel, among other things. The current uses of perchlorate have left approximately 17 million people at risk of exposure to contaminated ground water.

This toxic chemical compound most often affects the thyroid, which is needed for normal development and growth. The presence of perchlorate in the water supply could potentially put children at risk right alongside adults. The campaign to get the EPA to regulate the use and monitor the spread of this chemical compound has gone on for decades. In fact, in 2016, one group, the Natural Resources Defense Council filed a lawsuit, attempting to force the EPA to set safe standards for perchlorate.

An expert panel recently decided that a drinking water standard to protect the health of those here in the United States who are affected by perchlorate is needed by the EPA. Even so, the fear remains that federal agency continues to underestimate the harm this toxic chemical can do. Exposure could cause vulnerable children to suffer from neurobehavioral impairments.

It is not only exposure to contaminated ground water that could cause harm to children. The Food and Drug Administration found perchlorate in baby food, and it can be transferred to babies via breast milk. This means that even if an individual does not live in one of the states where the risk is the greatest, i.e. here in Georgia, he or she could end up affected.

Source: nrdc.org, "Science Experts Tell EPA to Regulate Toxic Perchlorate", Jennifer Sass, April 5, 2018

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