August 10, 2009
Perchlorate seems to be everywhere these days. It is in a lot of water supplies, in fruits and vegetables, in Chile's Atacama Desert, and even on Mars.
That is good and bad news for the Defense Department and military contractors battling accusations that they have polluted groundwater with perchlorate, a primary component of rocket fuel.
Science was critical because DOD and other parties that were being accused of polluting water and soil with perchlorate were arguing that they were not responsible for contamination nor for the extremely expensive cleanups.
"A lot of people like to know whose perchlorate it is when they find perchlorate where it isn't supposed to be," said Andrew Jackson, an engineering professor and perchlorate researcher at Texas Tech University.