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The Bushie EPA used the Friday news dump yesterday to hide their latest toxic discharge: the EPA won’t bother to limit the toxic rocket fuel chemical perchlorate, a common drinking water contaminant which can cause fetal brain damage and other severe health problems. Why does the Bushie EPA claim they don’t have to bother about perchlorate?

in more than 99 percent of public drinking water systems, perchlorate was not at levels of public health concern.

Who cares if one percent of America’s drinking water systems contain perchlorate? Who cares if sixteen million people (as the EPA claims) or more than twice as many Americans (as the NRDC and others calculate) — including hundreds of thousands of moms and infants — drink toxic rocket fuel every day? Thirty million people? Piffle! That’s only ten percent of the population. Who could expect the Bushies or their corporatist owners to shell out big bucks for a tiny fraction of Americans, right?

The Bushies’ EPA claims only sixteen million Americans — a mere five percent of the country’s population — may be drinking perchlorate. Reputable sources outside of Bushworld estimate up to forty million Americans are drinking perchlorate from the tap.

Haven’t heard about perchlorate before? The topic isn’t just bad news for infants. Perchlorate is a toxic component of rocket fuel and explosives. Who makes rocket fuel and explosives? Why, the Pentagon’s lovers in the war industries. Of course, that would only affect news coverage if "defense" corporatists owned or influenced US news outlets. Right?

Anyway, perchlorate interferes with the way our bodies usually handle iodine. We require iodine to make thyroid hormone. Our brains require thyroid hormone to function. Our fetal brains require far smaller amounts of thyroid hormone to successfully complete the developmental task of growing up to be an adequate brain for us after we’re born. Adequate thyroid hormone is so important to our developing brain that medicine had a special medical term for what happens to people deprived of iodine as their brains developed: cretinism. Though the term has now been discarded for "congenital hypothyroidism", the underlying cause remains the same: insufficient thyroid hormone.

Some years ago the EPA proposed a limit of one part perchlorate in a billion parts of water. That wasn’t popular with the Pentagon or the defense war corporations. Our country is so contaminated by perchlorate that millions of Americans drink water with far more than one part per billion of perchlorate. Who cares?

"They have distorted the science to such an extent that they can justify not regulating" the chemical, said Robert Zoeller, a University of Massachusetts professor who specializes in thyroid hormone and brain development and has a copy of the EPA proposal. "Infants and children will continue to be damaged, and that damage is significant."

Zoeller said scientific studies have shown that a small reduction in thyroid function in infants can translate into a loss of IQ and an increase in behavioral and perception problems. "It’s absolutely irreversible," he said. "Even small changes in thyroid functions early on have impacts on functioning through high school and even into people’s 20s."

A reference to those studies in the EPA’s proposal was deleted by OMB officials.

The document states that establishing a drinking-water standard for perchlorate "would not present a ‘meaningful opportunity for health risk reduction for persons served by public water systems,’ " but it also reveals that many Americans will be exposed to the compound at levels higher than recommended if nothing is done to remove it.

Feh. One percent of Americans? One percent of America’s drinking water systems? For the Bushies, that’s not enough people to spend out tax money protecting from toxic substances.

Except, of course, for the toxic substances we call "securites". For the few million Americans at risk of injuries from those toxins, the Bushies and their corporatist masters have calculated protection is priceless.

Or at least worth $700 Billion.

Hey — maybe the Bushie / Paulson / Obama toxic protection lobby will come out swinging for the thirty (forty?) million Americans getting dosed with perchlorate in their drinking water.

Sure. When flying cretinous monkeys come flying out of my tap.