Thyroid-altering chemical found in community drinking water

According to the Press-Enterprise, a fireworks company which was operating until the mid-1980s was recently named as a potential source for thyroid-damaging perchlorate in a community's drinking water supply.

The Mojave River Pyrotechnics Company was built near a well in Barstow, California, which was recently issued a "no drinking order," for high levels of the thyroid-altering compound.

According to the news source, perchlorate levels in Barstow's drinking water were 100 parts per billion, which is more than 16 times the allowable limit. In addition, tap water at a Marine Corps base east of Barstow was found to have levels of perchlorate that were more than three times the legal amount.

Harold Singer, executive officer of the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board, said that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is helping with the state investigation of the source of the chemical, according to the media outlet. He added that Mojave River Pyrotechnics is suspected because EPA records indicate it had used perchlorate.

According to the National Cancer Institute, there are 19,500 thyroid cancer diagnoses in the U.S. annually.