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[greenyes] Environmental Issues and the Unborn
Following up on my longer note about realigning our politics, here's an 
example of where we should do-a-Karl-Rove.  EPA is issuing higher 
permissible levels for perchorate based upon what's safe for adults, 
apparently ignoring the far greater sensitivity of the unborn.

                                                                    Peter
 San Bernardino County Sun


EPA rule blasted
Activists: New perchlorate standard too soft
By GUY McCARTHY
Staff Writer

Friday, February 18, 2005 - A new federal safety standard for toxic 
perchlorate used in rocket fuel and explosives announced Friday in the 
nation's capital amounts to an irresponsible gamble that could harm children 
and unborn babies, safe drinking water advocates in California said.
"The jury is still out on what is a safe standard for perchlorate in 
drinking water,' said sate Sen. Nell Soto, D-Ontario. "I don't think we 
should subject our kids to unnecessary risk. There's a 7-mile plume of 
perchlorate in my district, and we want it cleaned up so the water is safe 
to drink.'
Perchlorate levels in Rialto, Colton and Fontana wells have been measured in 
the past at 4 parts per billion to more than 800 parts per billion. A total 
of 20 wells have been closed in the region due to perchlorate contamination, 
said Kurt Berchtold, assistant executive officer for the Santa Ana Regional 
Water Quality Control Board.
Treatment facilities that remove all traces of perchlorate have allowed 
eight of the 20 closed wells to be reopened, Berchtold said.
Friday in Washington, the Environmental Protection Agency issued its first 
safety standard for perchlorate, which has been blamed for widespread 
contamination of drinking water especially near many military sites.
The EPA's new limit for what it considers a safe exposure level will be used 
in guiding Superfund cleanups and determining whether the agency should go a 
step further and regulate perchlorate as a drinking water contaminant.
The limit, which translates to 24.5 parts per billion in drinking water, is 
the same level recommended by the National Academy of Sciences in January 
but higher than what the EPA proposed two years ago.
Gina Solomon, a San Francisco-based senior scientist with the Natural 
Resources Defense Council, blasted the EPA's Friday announcement.
"The level the EPA is proposing will not protect infants and unborn 
children,' Solomon said. "It doesn't take into account that babies weigh 
less than grown-ups. The EPA's number is based on a 150-pound adult.
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