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Traces of Rocket Fuel Chemical Found In Leaty Vegetables

Feb 2, 2004

A chemical used in rocket fuel was detected in some leafy vegetables irrigated with Colorado River water, a research scientists said.

Perchlorate apparently seeped into the river from a rocket fuel factory outside Las Vegas, said Charles Sanchez, who heads the University of Arizona's Yuma Agricultural Center.

Traces were found in the outside leaves and sometimes the pithy framework of lettuce grown in Arizona and California, Sanchez said.

But no traces were found in the tender leaves that people eat.

The findings of the study, funded by the Arizona Iceberg Lettuce Research Council, aren't particularly alarming, Sanchez said. There is no reason to avoid eating vegetables from plants irrigated with Colorado River water, he said.

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