Ask Environmental Protection Agency to Set Safe Water Contamination Levels

Target: Lisa P. Jackson, EPA Administrator

Goal: Urge the Environmental Protection Agency to set higher standards against water contamination

One of the several contaminants found in our drinking water is perchlorate. Perchlorates are salts derived from perchloric acid and are used to make pyrotechnics, rocket fuel, fertilizer, and other substances. Like other drinking water contaminants, perchlorates will not stop contaminating our water unless the industries that produce them are halted. Given that this is unfeasible, the next best option at the public’s disposal is regulation and minimization of this contaminant.

The EPA has finally stated that perchlorates do in fact pose a health risk in that they can inhibit the uptake of iodine to the thyroid, which poses the greatest threat to the development of children. But there is no national regulation of perchlorate by the EPA, which is currently in the process of determining what that regulation will be. In the past EPA officials have stated that perchlorate levels of 24.5 parts per billion (ppb) are perfectly acceptable even though dramatically lower levels of contamination are easily attainable. Massachusetts has pioneered the country in the regulation of perchlorate by setting a 2 ppb limit. California has set a 6 ppb limit.

Since a lower limit is possible, why expose the public to a much higher limit? This is an example of bare minimum efforts to fix a problem. Since a perchlorate level of 2 ppb has been proven possible, the EPA should make sure that the entire country has the cleanest water possible by setting this as the limit. Urge the EPA to set this lower limit and keep America’s water safe.


Dear Administrator Jackson,

Perchlorate contamination of the U.S. water supply poses a potential health risk to the population, especially children and infants. Even though the EPA found that 24.5 ppb was a safe level of perchlorate contamination, more recent studies have found otherwise. California and Massachusetts have set much lower levels of perchlorate contamination proving that a level as low as 2 ppb is possible (even though lower amounts are also quite feasible).

We ask you to consider the effect on the people as opposed to the effect on corporate profits when setting a federal maximum perchlorate contamination level. If 2 ppb has been proven possible at a statewide level, the EPA should not consider any level of contamination higher than that satisfactory. Of course our society is going to continue to contaminate the water supply through the industry we are dependent upon, but you have the power to make things just a bit safer and a bit healthier. If that isn’t your main goal as Administrator of the EPA then I don’t know what is.


[Your Name Here]

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