Huntington Beach, CA, January 10th, 2022
The City of Pomona, California was recently awarded $48 million dollars in damages by a federal jury in a case against a foreign fertilizer provider that city officials blamed for causing groundwater contamination. The company’s sodium nitrate fertilizer was used decades ago on citrus farms in the area and was alleged to be contaminated with perchlorate.
Perchlorate forms naturally in the environment in small amounts. It is also used in items such as rocket fuel, fireworks, road flares, and explosives. Perchlorate is highly soluble in water and is known to enter surface and groundwater where it can last an extended period of time. Extensive groundwater plumes of the chemical have occurred in some areas across the country. In Pomona, the city had to close a number of wells and build a multimillion dollar treatment plant to remove perchlorate from its groundwater.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the human health effects from perchlorate at low environmental exposures are unknown. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that short-term exposure to high doses may cause eye and skin irritation, coughing, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The agency also reports that the thyroid gland is the primary target of perchlorate toxicity in humans, disrupting the functions of the thyroid and potentially leading to a reduction in the production of thyroid hormones.
“In addition to people being exposed to perchlorate by drinking contaminated water, in some cases, exposure can also occur by ingesting contaminated foods, breathing contaminated dust or touching contaminated soil,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager at LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “To help identify and monitor for exposure risks to perchlorate and other chemicals, LA Testing’s laboratories in California offer testing solutions for identifying contaminants in water, food, soil, dust, and air.”
A number of years ago, LA Testing sponsored an educational video about perchlorate and potential exposure concerns that can still be seen at: https://youtu.be/1X1T7dNOIlA
To learn more about perchlorate and other environmental, health and safety testing services, please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794.
About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash, and smoke damage, particulates, and other chemicals. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), CDC ELITE, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health, and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro, San Diego, and Ontario.