Perchlorate in Water in AZ and Abnormal Neonatal Thyroid Function
Yet another reason to be sure you drink properly filtered water. Ammonium perchlorite affects the thyroid’s ability to take up much needed iodide, thereby lowering the efficiency of the thyroid gland. This study suggests that even newborn infants are affected. Technology is surely killing us, albeit slowly.
J Occup Environ Med 2000;42:777-782 Ammonium perchlorate contamination of drinking water drawn from the Colorado River is associated with significantly elevated thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels in newborns. The Colorado River below Lake Mead supplies drinking water to approximately 20 million people. In their introduction, the authors of the report explain that the water is contaminated with ammonium perchlorate, which is used in the manufacture of rocket fuel, ammunition and fireworks, and which has been discarded in large quantities in Nevada since the 1950s. The perchlorate ion, they elaborate, can persist in water for long periods, and can act “as a competitive inhibitor of iodide transport in the thyroid.” Dr. Brechner and colleagues collected data on TSH levels from 1099 newborns in Yuma whose water is contaminated with ammonium perchlorate and from 443 newborns in Flagstaff whose drinking water has no detectable levels of ammonium perchlorate. The team found that the level of ammonium perchlorate contamination was 6 parts per billion in Yuma’s drinking water. After adjusting for age and for race/ethnicity and factors known or suspected to increase TSH levels in newborns, the investigators found that median TSH levels in the subjects exposed to ammonium perchlorate were significantly higher than those in the control group–19.9 vs 13.4 mU/L.