Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

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Search results for "Perchlorate" ...

  • In These Times: Why the United States Leaves Deadly Chemicals on the Market

    We investigated the numerous ways the chemical industry influences regulation of chemicals by the EPA and the FDA. Specifically, we discovered that industry-funded researchers have used a particular type of scientific study called “physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling” to support industry claims that economically important chemicals are safe. We found that the scientists who pioneered PBPK modeling while working for the Air Force in the early 1980s had recognized early on that PBPK studies could be used to industry’s advantage. As we examined the record over the past four decades, it became clear that these studies are primarily conducted by regulatory toxicologists working as private consultants or for research institutions funded by chemical companies. Further, these same individuals and consultancies often receive federal grants and contracts, suggesting widespread conflicts of interest. Our investigation documents the outcome – often delay or outright termination – of regulatory processes for numerous hazardous chemicals, including methylene chloride, formaldehyde, bisphenol A, perchlorate, styrene, and chlorpyrifos. While other journalists have documented the chemical industry’s political influence, to our knowledge no other journalists have brought to light the ways science itself is being manipulated.
  • "Tainted Water"

    For more than 20 years, the harmful chemical perchlorate has seeped into San Bernardino County's groundwater. The seep is thought to have started at a local dump site; however, records about the site were lost in the late 1980s by "two state regulatory agencies." The problem wasn't reported again until 1997, but warnings were "dismissed" by the county. The site was "rediscovered" in 2001, but it wasn't until 2009 that the county got serious about stopping the chemical seep. It is estimated that the cleanup operation will be completed by 2013.
  • U.S. Slow on Clean-ups

    The Pentagon has resisted paying for clean-up of toxic substances from its former bases. Asbestos, perchlorate and trichloroethylene (TCE) have been deemed hazardous by the EPA and remain on lands previously owned by the Pentagon but that now house private families and schools. But the Pentagon has complained to the White House about EPA regulations and Bush appointees have responded by admonishing EPA officials, essentially creating separate and less stringent environmental standards for the military than for states, communities and private industry. Since 2001 clean-ups have slowed and an estimated 15 million acres of land remain contaminated with dumped munitions alone.
  • Perchlorate in Lettuce

    This investigation showed how a potentially harmful rocket-fuel chemical had contaminated the nation's supply of winter lettuce. Approximately ninety percent of the nation's winter lettuce is grown in the Imperial and Coachella valleys, and is irrigated with Colorado River water. The river is contaminated from a Cold War -era manufacturing plant near Las Vegas that stopped making perchlorate in 1998.