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Perchlorate's Effect on Sensitive Populations

June 19, 2004

"Perchlorate Isn't as Risky as Some Think, Study Says" (June 12) correctly reported that a new UC Irvine study of perchlorate reached no conclusions about the potential harm to pregnant women, fetuses and infants who are exposed to higher doses of the chemical than state scientists recommend. But neither the headline nor the subhead reflected this crucial distinction.

Concern about perchlorate's effect on expectant mothers and their children is the reason that California, Massachusetts and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency scientists have all said that exposures should be limited to a few parts per billion. Companies that make or use perchlorate and the Pentagon are trying to shift the terms of the regulatory debate to the chemical's effect on healthy adults, but that has never been the issue. The UC Irvine study reinforces the need for precaution on perchlorate to protect sensitive populations.

Bill Walker

Vice President/West Coast

Environmental Working

Group, Oakland

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