Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Perchlorate in Private Well Water

The effect of the chemical perchlorate on humans is a highly debated topic, as this chemical can be found in many different private well-water systems across the country. The chemical perchlorate is one of the main additives in rocket fuel, but has somehow found water supply and affected thousands of people.

Perchlorate has been found to cause thyroid illnesses throughout the U.S.

Perchlorate is known for its effects on thyroids in humans, which is essential for regulating hormones, heart and muscle activity, and other functions. However, most scientists claim that there is no established evidence that perchlorate has any cancer-causing effects on humans, but new cases of perchlorate-caused cancer have been revealed.

In Williamstown, Massachusetts, after noticing a trend of increased thyroid cancer victims, leading to a distinguishable “cancer cluster” in the area. Specifically, most of the cancer victims had attended the Mount Greylock High School in the area. Researchers considered multiple different possibilities for the increased cancer, but the most intriguing cause was the high levels of perchlorate in the well water system that the school used. According to reports, the estimated content of perchlorate for the well water was 5.05 parts per billion, which is five times above the advisory amount of 1.

After the initial report on the levels of perchlorate was published, more and more cancer victims revealed that they had attended the high school. This included multiple faculty members and students. In fact, the proportion of faculty members and their cancer risk was much higher than the students, most likely because they had been exposed to the water for much longer.

Since the possibly cancerous link was discovered, the school has cut off all supply from the well water to other types of water, such as bottled water and public tap water. However, the evidence of the study should be worrisome for other areas of the country where perchlorate is found. Any area of the country that occasionally uses fireworks runs the risk of introducing perchlorate into their well water systems. If your private well water system contains excess amounts of the chemical perchlorate, you may want to install a reverse-osmosis filter. Reverse osmosis filters effectively remove perchlorate and other harmful toxins from your household. If you’re not sure about the content of your water, contact your local water municipality first.