In Situ Bioremediation Of Perchlorate In Groundwater: An Overview

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1.1 Introduction

Perchlorate contamination is an explosive issue in many ways. It burst into prominence as a pollutant very rapidly in the late 1990s, and it has remained a hot topic for the past decade. It has also ignited an enormous amount of controversy and public interest (Cheremisinoff, 2001; Cunniff et al., 2006). And of course, its primary use has been as a component of solid rocket propellants (ITRC, 2005), and the public understandably gets concerned about “rocket fuel in drinking water” (EWG, 2007).

The reasons for the explosion of interest in perchlorate include recent advances in both analytical chemistry and in our understanding of perchlorate's health impacts. The advances in chemistry have allowed detection at low part-per-billion (microgram per liter [μg/L]) concentrations (Urbansky, 2000), and the toxicological research has suggested that such concentrations may be of concern, particularly to developing fetuses and infants (USEPA, 2002). However, there h