petition California to set perchlorate standard at 1 part per billion
SACRAMENTO, CA (01/31/05)
-- A coalition of environmental interest groups have petition the state
of California to lower its perchlorate safety recommendation to 1 part
per billion (ppb) and to set an emergency standard to accelerate cleanup.
"California has waited too
long to protect people from exposure to a chemical that is especially risky
for fetuses, newborns and pregnant women," said Renee Sharp, senior analyst
with Environmental Working Group, one of eight organizations that petitioned
the California Environmental Protection Agency to enact emergency an safety
standard. "Perchlorate contaminates not only water but milk and food, and
the state is required by
law to consider a pollutant's effect on fetuses, infants and their mothers."
The state's currently proposed
standard, which has not yet been adopted, is 6 ppb. However, the petition
cited new data on perchlorate's toxicity and widespread contamination of
water, milk and food, plus a new state law requiring drinking water standards
to take into consideration the health of pregnant women and infants, as
reasons a lower level is needed. After issuing an emergency standard, state
officials would be required to review the data and issue a final standard
within 240 days.
The groups urged state officials
to immediately consider the study released earlier this month by the National
Academy of Sciences (NAS), and recent Food and Drug Administration tests
that found perchlorate contamination of food and milk is more widespread
than previously thought. Under a law signed last year by Gov. Schwarzenegger
(AB 2342-Jackson) the state must review the effects of perchlorate on pregnant
women and infants in developing a perchlorate standard.
"Once California accounts
for widespread contamination of food and the need to protect pregnant women
and newborns, the conclusion is clear," said Dr. Gina Solomon, a physician
with the Natural Resources Defense Council. "The scientific evidence points
toward a perchlorate standard of 1 ppb."
is available online. Groups signing the petition included: Environment
California, Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Working Group,
Sierra Club California, Clean Water Action, Center for Community Action
& Environmental Justice, INSIST and Citizens for Chuckwalla Valley.