Q: Where is perchlorate being found and why are we just now responding to it?
A: Until recently, perchlorate was detected only in a few places where it was either manufactured or used in large quantities. In 1997, new techniques were developed that made it possible to detect perchlorate in water at very low levels - about 4 parts per billion (ppb). Because of these advancements, low levels of perchlorate have been detected in more places. Once perchlorate was detected at these low levels, industry and government began a unique partnership to review and study the health effects of perchlorate, resulting in several new studies that showed these low levels have no measurable effect on human health. In the meantime, treatment technologies were developed and put in place to address perchlorate contamination.
Q: How can citizens find out if there is perchlorate in their own drinking water supplies?
WHERE PERCHLORATE IS BEING FOUND, IT'S TYPICALLY AT LEVELS BELOW 50 PPB, WHICH CREDIBLE STUDIES SHOW HAS NO MEASURABLE EFFECT ON HUMAN HEALTH.
A: The easiest way to obtain this information is to call their local water company. Or, if their water service is provided by a municipal utility, citizens can contact the customer service center (usually listed on their utility bill) and get information on who their water purveyor is and how to contact them. They can also visit the water supplier's Web site and look for either the water quality report or the Consumer Confidence Report. If a district has detected perchlorate it must be listed. Many of these reports are also available at: http://yosemite.epa.gov/ogwdw/ccr.nsf/California?OpenView