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Briefing Date:01/10/2005
Topic:Health Implications of Perchlorate Ingestion

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
Division on Earth and Life Studies
Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology
Committee to Assess the Health Implications of Perchlorate Ingestion

******

Congressional Briefings
Monday, January 10, 2005
253 Russell Senate Office Bldg. -- 1:30 p.m.
or
2318 Rayburn House Office Bldg. -- 3:00 p.m.

on

Health Implications of Perchlorate Ingestion

by

Members of the Study Committee:

Richard B. Johnston, Chair, Committee to Assess the Health Implications of Perchlorate Ingestion, The National Academies; and Associate Dean for Research Development and Professor of Pediatrics, University of Colorado School of Medicine

Robert Utiger, Member, Committee to Assess the Health Implications of Perchlorate Ingestion, The National Academies; and Clinical Professor of Medicine, Harvard University School of Medicine

Linda Cowan, Member, Committee to Assess the Health Implications of Perchlorate Ingestion, The National Academies; and George Lynn Cross Research Professor, University of Oklahoma

Richard Corley, Member, Committee to Assess the Health Implications of Perchlorate Ingestion, The National Academies; and Staff Scientist, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

In 1985, perchlorate contamination was discovered at Superfund sites in California; however, the extent of perchlorate contamination of water sources nationwide was not revealed until 1997. Currently, no drinking water standard for perchlorate exists. Because of the controversy surrounding the concentration at which perchlorate should be regulated, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency asked the National Research Council of the National Academies to assess the potential adverse health effects of perchlorate ingestion. In its report, the Committee to Assess the Health Implications of Perchlorate Ingestion reviews the current state of the science regarding potential adverse health effects of perchlorate exposure. Specifically, the committee evaluated human clinical and epidemiologic studies and animal toxicology studies, and determined the relevance of the animal studies for predicting adverse effects in humans, especially sensitive populations. The committee also reviewed and determined whether EPA's findings in its 2002 draft risk assessment are consistent with current scientific evidence. Recommendations are provided for scientific research that could reduce uncertainty in the understanding of human health effects associated with low-level perchlorate ingestion.

These series of briefings were for members of Congress and congressional staff only. The report was publicly released at 5:00 p.m. on January 10, 2005 and can be found, in its entirety, on the Web site of the National Academies Press.

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