In sufficient amounts, perchlorate can inhibit iodine uptake by the thyroid, ultimately leading to diminished thyroid function. Recent studies in Europe and the United States have determined that maternal hypothyroidism during pregnancy, even when mild and considered subclinical, may be associated with impairment of normal brain development and intelligence in offspring. Concern about the possibility that iodine uptake inhibition from environmental perchlorate could result in impaired maternal thyroid function during pregnancy and adverse neurodevelopmental effects in the fetus, has led to proposed a proposed reference dose (RfD) as low as 0.00003 mg/kg-day. For 18 months during 2003 and 2004, a committee of the National Research Council (NRC) reviewed the science available in order to assess the risk of perchlorate ingestion. In the committee’s January 2005 report, it concluded that the no-observed-adverse-effect level (NOAEL) is 0.4 mg/kg-day and that the no-observed-effect-level (NOEL) is 0.007 mg/kg-day. Based on the NOEL, the committee recommended an RfD of 0.0007 mg/kg-day. Subsequent to the NRC committee deliberations, five new scientific studies have been completed that strongly support the committee’s NOAEL and NOEL and support that the recommended RfD is safe for even the most susceptible populations – fetuses of pregnant women with insufficient iodine consumption.
Gibbs, John P. M.D.
"Emerging Science Supporting The 2005 National Research Council Perchlorate Risk Assessment,"
Proceedings of the Annual International Conference on Soils, Sediments, Water and Energy: Vol. 11
, Article 17.
Available at: http://scholarworks.umass.edu/soilsproceedings/vol11/iss1/17