Well shut down for perchlorate contamination to prevent potential hypothyroidism cases

A well was recently shut down in Marion, Massachusetts, after test results revealed a perchlorate concentration in the drinking water of 2.2 parts per billion, which slightly exceeds the maximum permissible contaminant level of 2.0. Exposure to perchlorate, which is a chemical widely used in fireworks and explosives, has been tied to hypothyroidism.

South Coast Today reports that the town immediately issued a notice to pregnant women, nursing mothers, infants and children under 12, as well as those affected by hypothyroidism, warning them not to drink town water. In addition, ice cubes, juices, baby formula or anything prepared with town water since September 15 should be discarded, according to the notice.

"To my knowledge, we've never had anything like this," Marion selectman Jonathan Henry told the news source. "The soil between Route 105 and Mary's Pond Road is sort of permeable. Maybe someone buried explosives or fireworks up there sometime and it has leached out into the water table."

According to the Centers for Disease Control, studies show that nearly everyone in the U.S. is exposed regularly to low levels of perchlorate by drinking milk and water that contain the toxin.