WASHINGTON - The government on Friday issued its first safety standard for perchlorate, a toxic chemical used in rocket fuel and explosives and blamed for widespread contamination of drinking water near military sites.
The Environmental Protection Agency (news - web sites)'s new limit for what it considers a safe exposure level will be used in guiding Superfund cleanups and determining whether the agency should go a step further and regulate perchlorate as a drinking water contaminant.
The limit, which translates to 24.5 parts per billion in drinking water, is the same level recommended by the National Academy of Sciences (news - web sites) in January but higher than what EPA proposed two years ago. [Yahoo! News: Reader Ratings]