The chemical in question is perchlorate, a.k.a. perc, found in dry cleaning solvent and rocket fuel. The FDA adamantly would not regulate the amounts of perc in drinking water (significant amounts have been popping up all over the country) but now it's backing up since perc seems to do things like screw up the thyroid, without which fertility cannot happen:
From the NY Times:
read more here.
The Environmental Protection Agency failed to follow its own guidelines and made a basic error in evaluating how a toxic contaminant in rocket fuel harms human health, according to a report by the agency’s inspector general.
The contaminant, perchlorate, has been found in significant levels in drinking water in at least 400 locations; scientific studies indicate that perchlorate blocks the necessary accumulation of iodide in human thyroid glands. Iodide insufficiencies in pregnant women are “associated with permanent mental deficits in the children,” the E.P.A. said.
...In October, the E.P.A. announced that after “extensive review of scientific data related to the health effects of exposure to perchlorate from drinking water and other sources,” a rule setting nationwide maximum limits for the chemical in drinking water was unnecessary as it would do little to reduce risks to human health.
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