Jan 11, 2005

AWWA Comments on NAS Perchlorate Report

Perchlorate has been detected in drinking water supplies across the nation, and the EPA is currently assessing the need for a standard for allowable amounts of this contaminant in drinking water.

On Monday, the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) released "Health Implications of Perchlorate Ingestion," a report assessing the health effects of perchlorate – a chemical used in rocket fuel, munitions and fireworks.

Jack Hoffbuhr, executive director of the American Water Works Association (AWWA), issued the following statement regarding this report.

"The drinking water community takes nothing more seriously than its responsibility to safeguard the public health. Drinking water professionals have been researching the occurrence of perchlorate in water supplies and continue to pay close attention to relevant health effects research.

"Drinking water professionals have taken many proactive steps to protect against any possible health effects associated with perchlorate. The American Water Works Association (AWWA) is currently sponsoring a national perchlorate occurrence study that should yield useful information for the development of protective federal drinking water regulations. In addition, the independent American Water Works Association Research Foundation (AwwaRF) has conducted several scientific studies on the presence and treatment of perchlorate that will assist utilities in reducing the public’s exposure to the substance."

Background information on perchlorate is available through AWWA’s On Point section at www.awwa.org/advocacy/yourwater/.