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 June 15, 2003
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Rocket Fuel Chemical Found in Lettuce
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Some winter lettuce sold in northern California supermarkets had potentially high levels of a toxic chemical found in rocket fuel, says a report by the Environmental Working Group in Oakland.

The group says it commissioned laboratory studies that found the chemical perchlorate in four of 22 samples of lettuce grown in southern California or Arizona, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Perchlorate is a hormone disrupter that, at high doses, can affect thyroid gland activity.

The levels found in a typical serving of the contaminated lettuce would be four times higher than perchlorate levels considered safe in drinking water under U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards, the report says.

But health officials said it's not clear whether the presence of perchlorate in produce poses any significant health risk, the Chronicle reports.

-- Scott Roberts and Robert Preidt

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Rocket Fuel Chemical Found in Lettuce

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