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Pollutants > Perchlorate

Perchlorate is a salt derived from perchloric acid (HClO4). Perchlorate can be naturally occurring or manmade. Example for naturally occurring perchlorate is that found in arid states in southwestern United States (U.S.), as well as in nitrate fertilizer deposits in Chile and potash ore found in U.S. and Canada. Perchlorate can also form naturally in the atmosphere, leading to trace levels of perchlorate in precipitation. Perchlorate is also an industrial chemical that is used as an oxidizing agent in rocket propellant, in fireworks and flares, and for other purposes. Perchlorate has been found in a number of foods and in drinking water in the U.S.

Effects of perchlorate on the human body

Exposure to perchlorate can restrict iodide uptake into the thyroid gland, disrupting the functions of the thyroid and potentially leading to a decrease in the production of thyroid hormone. Actually, perchlorate has been used as a drug to treat hyperthyroidism (excess thyroid hormone production) and to diagnose disorders associated to thyroid or iodine metabolism. Thyroid plays an important role in regulating metabolism in adults. Thyroid hormones are vital for normal growth and development of the central nervous system in fetuses as well as infants. Therefore, pregnant women and their fetuses and newborns have the utmost probability for risk of undesirable health effects following exposure to perchlorate.

In a recent study by Blount et al. (Environmental Health Perspective 114:1865, 2006), the authors have reported a statistically significant association between perchlorate exposure and changes in thyroid hormone levels in women with sub-optimal urine iodine levels (less than 100 microgram per liter (µg/L)) that may indicate iodine deficiency. The study analyzed cross-sectional data from the 2001-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) dataset. Thirty-six percent of the women tested had less than 100 µg/L iodine in their urine. Blount et al. used the 100 µg/L cut-off based on the World Health Organization (WHO) definition of sufficient iodine status.

Blount et al. have stated that the study should be affirmed with another large population-based study that includes hundreds of women with low iodine levels as a vulnerable population group. The study will include measurement of other analytes that can be indicators of thyroid function, in addition to free T4 and thyroid stimulating hormone.

So far, the EPA has recognized 75 perchlorate releases in 22 states, including Texas, Arizona, Nebraska, Iowa, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts and California. The Colorado River contains perchlorate at roughly seven parts per billion, which is seven times the level that the EPA's National Center for Environmental Assessment considers as safe. Colorado River is the main water source for 15 million houses across the Southwest.

Absolutely Free Initial Consultation - If you or a loved one suffered side effects from Perchlorate, please fill out and submit the form at the right or contact us today at 1-800-780-2686 for a free case evaluation by an experienced pollutants attorney.

Breaking News

CDC Study Finds Perchlorate in Baby Formula
According to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 15 brands of infant formula products sold in the United States are contaminated with perchlorate, a dangerous chemical also used in rocket fuel... Read More

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