Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Perchlorate in Drinking Water Associated with Thyroid Function Abnormalities

Perchlorate Affect on the Thyroid

The Associated Press is reporting that Federal Regulators do not have any plans to try and regulate the amount of perchlorate that is in public drinking water, which has been found to pose a risk to individuals' thyroid function. The chemical can also cause developmental health risks, especially for babies and fetuses.

The decision made by the Environmental Protection Agency is not final, however, and the agency will collect public comments for thirty days before concluding the decision process as to whether or not the chemical in drinking water should be regulated.

What is Perchlorate?

The Department of Defense used perchlorate in the testing of rockets and missiles. It is estimated that the drinking water of nearly twenty million Americans is contaminated with the chemical. Perchlorate is the main ingredient of rocket and missile fuel and is an explosive element. The chemical has contaminated the drinking water supplies of many states, particularly Texas and California.

How does Perchlorate Affect the Thyroid?

Perchlorate affects human health by inhibiting iodine uptake into the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland helps to regulate the metabolism in adults and releases thyroid hormones. In children, the thyroid gland is important in proper development. Perchlorate is becoming an urgent threat to human health and water resources.

Perchlorate and Children

Toddlers are particularly vulnerable to perchlorate in their drinking water because they eat and drink a significant amount of food and water in relation to their tiny size.  

A research study conducted by the Environmental Working Group analysis of FDA data discovered that perchlorate levels even as low as four parts per billion in drinking water could possibly expose the average two year old toddler to a dangerous amount of rocket fuel contamination in their every day lives.

Cleanup of Drinking Water

The research findings of the FDA highlight the importance of the cleanup of drinking water so that small children are not exposed to rocket fuel in their drinking water. Perchlorate in drinking water can be minimized through filtration and clean up. The cleanup of perchlorate in food is more difficult because the origination of the chemical is more difficult to pin point.

Importance of Cleanup of Drinking Water

The National Academy of Sciences, also referred to as the NAS, research finding found that the health effects of perchlorate are severe.

Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is also referred to as the CDC, have released research conclusions that indicate thatAmerican women, especially those with low iodine intake, could possibly have reduced thyroid function as a result of perchlorate exposure. Similar thyroid function effects were not found for men.

Filter Drinking Water at Home to Protect Your Thyroid

Many people are asking the question as to whether tap water or bottled water is better for health. Because of cost, many families prefer tap water as it is more readily available than bottled water. And many prefer tap water because of environmental issues relating to the use of plastic containers that are associated with bottled water.

The standard faucet filter that many people have in their kitchen is not sufficient. Reverse osmosis drinking water treatment systems have been shown to filter out the dangerous perchlorate chemical in drinking water and aid in the protection of thyroid health.

Consult a Professional

If you have questions about your drinking water, perchlorate and the effect that it has on your thyroid health, consult a thyroid health professional.

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