Chlorinecontaining Anions

Perchlorate, an environmental contaminant, is a known competitive inhibitor of the iodine= sodium symporter and decreases thyroid function by inhibiting iodine uptake by the thyroid at doses of 200 mg per day or more.16 Perchlorate is found in fireworks, explosives, and solid jet and rocket fuel, and is a contaminant found in some fertilizers. Perchlorate is often consumed in plants such as lettuce and leafy greens, drinking water, and milk, generally accumulated from contaminated groundwater. Studies have found that the majority of dairy milk samples and all samples of breast milk tested contained perchlorate. A recent study demonstrated a mean perchlorate level in breast milk of 10.5 mg=L, suggesting that the average breastfed infant consumes more than twice the recommended maximum daily level of perchlorate established by the National Academy of Sciences.17 Studies of perchlorate levels in drinking water and their relation to diseases in the United States have provided conflicting results. Several studies have measured thyroid hormone values as indicators of the health effects of perchlorate in drinking water, and have found no effect.18 One study did find a statistically significant increase in newborns' TSH levels in an area where all samples of drinking water were contaminated with perchlorate, as compared to the TSH levels of newborns in an area without such contamination.19 Some researchers suggest that the combination of perchlorate with other competitors of the iodine=sodium symporter, such as nitrates and thiocyanate, as well as the combination of perchlorate with iodine itself, increases the risk of thyroid-related disease.20 A further study examining the incidence of attention-deficit= hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, and the academic performance of fourth graders in areas with and without perchlorate contamination did not find a statistically significant difference in these conditions in the two groups. However, this study did not take into account the residence locations of mothers at the time of gestation, or their individual perchlorate exposure.21 Also, one study showed that higher levels of perchlorate excretion were associated with increased levels of TSH and decreased levels of T4 in iodine-deficient women.22

Benign, fibrocystic breast disease is associated with iodine deficiency.

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