andrew schneider investigates

February 14, 2008

FDA reports perchlorate in food

Filed under: Food Safety — Andrew Schneider @ 09:11

Food is the primary source of perchlorate for most Americans, and many children may be exposed to levels more than half of the EPA’s safe dose from food alone, according to a new study by the Food and Drug Administration.

The agency reported that dairy products are the major source of perchlorate for children, according to a story in Environmental Science and Technology.

The findings come from FDA’s Total Diet Study, in which agency scientists measured perchlorate levels in 285 foods obtained from grocery stores and fast-food outlets in different parts of the U.S.

Perchlorate is well known as a major component in rocket fuel, but the chemical also forms naturally. In sufficient amounts it disrupts the thyroid by inhibiting the uptake of iodide, an essential component of thyroid hormones. Because these hormones direct brain development, health concerns have focused on fetuses and young infants.

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