Flaws in Massachusetts Perchlorate Science Revealed

Monday, May 24, 2004

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MDEP) recently released its perchlorate toxicological profile and health assessment. According to at least one researcher, there are some serious errors in MDEP's assessment, especially in regards to its review of the peer-reviewed and published Greer Study. In fact, MDEP's work bears many of the same flaws United States Environment Protection Agency (US EPA ) has come under fire for from the scientific and medical community.

  • MDEP mistakenly labels inhibition of iodide uptake, which occurs around 200 parts per billion (ppb), as an "adverse" effect, which the Greer study shows is simply not the case. Iodide uptake fluctuates every day as a result of diet and other factors, and the body's natural adaptive processes compensate for this. Any risk of an "adverse" effect was not observed below doses of 17,000 ppb.
  • The elements of the Greer study which MDEP chose to question (sample size, adult subjects and duration) are all within the guidelines of what is appropriate and scientifically and medically valid. That was, in fact, the one area that three independent University of California peer reviewers agreed upon when they reviewed California's draft risk assessment on perchlorate in January 2004.
  • MDEP used US EPA's brain morphometry studies, which over the past year have been severely criticized by reputable scientists and physicians around the country for flaws in design and implementation.