The Trump administration Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has decided to go against a court order and will not be regulating toxic chemicals, like perchlorate, that contaminates our drinking water and harms the development of children.
Perchlorate is a toxic chemical found in rocket fuel. On the EPA’s website, they explain why the chemical is a health concern when found in drinking water by saying: Perchlorate can disrupt the normal function of the thyroid gland in both children and adults. In adults, the thyroid plays an important role in metabolism, making and storing hormones that help regulate the heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and the rate at which food is converted into energy. In fetuses and infants, thyroid hormones are critical for normal growth and development of the central nervous system. Perchlorate can interfere with the human body’s ability to absorb iodine into the thyroid gland which is a critical element in the production of thyroid hormones.
According to EcoWatch, high concentrations of perchlorate have been found in at least 26 states, usually near military sites because of its use in rocket fuel.
Why then are they not regulating such a toxin?
Back in 2011, this harmful chemical was discovered in drinking water and the courts have given the EPA until the end of June to finalize regulations, but administrator Andrew Wheeler will instead be reversing any actions made to regulate.
“The agency has determined that perchlorate does not occur with a frequency and at levels of public health concern, and that regulation of perchlorate does not present a meaningful opportunity for health risk reduction for persons served by public water systems,” the draft policy reads.
Environmental and public health advocates, like the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), demand a reversal on Wheeler’s decision.
BREAKING: @EPAAWheeler & Trump’s @EPA are choosing NOT to regulate #perchlorate, a dangerous chemical linked to fetal & infant brain damage and found in the tap water of millions of Americans. This decision ignores science and the law. We will fight this. https://t.co/4vb87Ip5ZS— NRDC 🌎🏡 (@NRDC) May 14, 2020
EPA spokeswoman Andrea Woods claims a final decision has not been made and states: “Any information that is shared or reported now would be premature, inappropriate and would be prejudging the formal rulemaking process.”
Wheeler claims perchlorate levels have already been reduced because of state and EPA efforts. “Because of steps that EPA, states and public water systems have taken to identify, monitor and mitigate perchlorate, the levels have decreased in drinking water, This success demonstrates that EPA and states are working together to lead the world in providing safe drinking water to all Americans,” he said.
But he is still deciding to reverse the 2011 decision to continue to regulate the chemical.