A team of faculty and students at Williams College will spend the summer trying to develop theories or facts on the sources of measured perchlorate contamination to the water supply at Mount Greylock Regional High School. The group, which includes chemistry professor David Richardson, will begin their work in mid-June. Prof. Richardson describes the effort, and lists the other team members, in an email sent to GreylockNews.COM on Friday. You can read it by clicking HERE. The Williams group's work has the potential to add to national dialog on perchlorate contamination of water supplies, which is an issue nationwide. The subject line of the email refers to a new research study (Download PerchlorateArticle.pdf), which found that lightning strikes to a water-storage tank in one instance was suspected to have caused a chemical reaction that can create percholorate. There is no evidence, that this has occured at Mount Greylock, but the researchers are hoping to consider a variety of hypotheses for why percholorate readings in the school's well-water system have been higher than would be expected for general background. In February, the trade journal "Waterweek" reported that a panel of National Research Council (NRC) experts has concluded that humans can safely ingest perchlorate at rates up to 0.7 micrograms per kilogram of body weight, which is more than 20 times the safe exposure rate USEPA estimated in its draft risk assessment of 2002. In a report released Jan. 10, the NRC's Committee to Assess the Health Implications of Perchlorate Ingestion found that a reference dose of 0.7 micrograms/kg "should protect the health of even the most sensitive populations."