• picture
  • picture
PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Health Update

Air Date: Week of December 1, 2000

Living On Earth’s Diane Toomey reports on a California study in which scientists are exposing human volunteers to an industrial pollutant to determine its health effects.

Transcript

TOOMEY: At Loma Linda Medical Center in California, people are popping pollution pills. It's part of a study involving the chemical perchlorate, a substance found in rocket fuel that's turned up in some drinking water supplies. The EPA is considering setting limits on the amount of perchlorate allowed in drinking water. Exposure to the chemical can affect the thyroid gland, but not a lot is known about its low-level effects. Paid volunteers in the study get a daily dose of perchlorate that's 83 times greater than the amount allowed in drinking water by the state of California. Critics of the study say exposing people to industrial chemicals is unethical. Researchers counter that perchlorate can be considered a drug because in rare cases it's used to treat thyroid conditions. The study has also drawn fire, since it's funded by Lockheed-Martin, which makes rocket fuel containing perchlorate. That's this week's health update. I'm Diane Toomey.

 

 

Living on Earth wants to hear from you!

P.O. Box 990007
Prudential Station
Boston, MA, USA 02199
Telephone: 1-617-287-4121
E-mail: comments@loe.org

Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.

Newsletter
Living on Earth offers a weekly delivery of the show's rundown to your mailbox. Sign up for our newsletter today!

Major funding for Living on Earth is provided by the National Science Foundation.

Committed to healthy food, healthy people, a healthy planet, and healthy business.

Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live.

Kendeda Fund, furthering the values that contribute to a healthy planet.

The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.

Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary hummingbird photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.