What do rocket fuel, missiles, bleach, and fertilizers all have in common? Perchlorate.
Perchlorate is a widely used chemical that is often found in our water, soil, and plants. When littered in the environment, it can get into our bodies. It has worked its way up the food chain from our food to just about every humans bloodstream. This is a problem because it can have many damaging effects on the body.
Perchlorate is produced as a byproduct of aerospace, pharmaceutical, and weapon industries. When released into the air, it settles in our soil and water. However, it doesn't just dissolve and disappear. Instead, it remains in our food and water. Perchlorate actually moves up the food chain and gets stored in our bodies fatty tissues and blood stream. In fact, just about every human has been found to have perchlorate in their blood stream.
This is such a big problem because perchlorate can disrupt your hormone system. Hormones are the chemical signals that tell your body what to do. When disrupted, your body can send too many or too little signals. This can cause many illnesses in the long run. Most prominent for perchlorate are thyroid disorders, however perchlorate can even be linked to cancer.
So, what can we do? Many states such as California have limits that are not low enough to protect our health. California actually ALLOWS it in water to amounts that have been considered unsafe, especially because it builds up over time. This is because many regulations don't take multiple exposures into account. Using water quality guides such as found on ewg.org, you can find out if you live in an area where perchlorate is allowed at high levels. If so, it is important to buy a good water filter to prevent exposure to this chemical.
Overall, because this chemical is so widely found in the environment, it is important to take the steps possible to limit your exposure. You can do this by purchasing a water filter. This simple solution can prevent a variety of illnesses in the long run.