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Rocket Fuel Chemical Found in Infant Formula

CDC Scientists Find Perchlorate in Samples of Powdered Infant Formula
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Perchlorate in Your Water?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) doesn't regulate perchlorate in drinking water, but that may change.

In January 2009, the EPA issued an interim health advisory setting an upper limit on perchlorate levels in public drinking water. The EPA is also seeking advice from the National Academy of Sciences before deciding whether to set a national regulation for perchlorate in drinking water.

Meanwhile, if you want to find out if your drinking water contains perchlorate, the EPA suggests calling your drinking water utility or state drinking water program to learn the results of past perchlorate monitoring or to find out if your state requires monitoring.

If your state doesn't require perchlorate monitoring, you can send a sample of your tap water to a lab that's certified to analyze perchlorate or similar compounds. The EPA's web site has a state-by-state list of links to drinking water labs.

Bottled Water, Treated Water an Option

Schier's study focuses on perchlorate in powdered infant formula, not in water. But if there's perchlorate in your drinking water, perchlorate would get into formula made with that water.

Background information posted on the FDA's web site states that "If you live in one of the few areas where perchlorate in the public drinking water is above 15 parts per billion, FDA recommends using water that is lower in perchlorate levels, such as bottled water or water from a home treatment device certified for perchlorate removal, to reconstitute your infant's formula."

Perchlorate can be removed from drinking water by reverse osmosis technology. But if you're considering installing a home treatment unit, the EPA recommends contacting the manufacturer to ask whether the unit can remove perchlorate from your water supply.

The FDA has also investigated perchlorate in foods. Those findings, which were published last year, are consistent with the new CDC report, are well below the EPA's level of concern, and reflect the "ubiquitous" environmental nature of perchlorate, an FDA spokesman tells WebMD.

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