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Environmental perchlorate exposure: potential adverse thyroid effects

Leung, Angela M.a; Pearce, Elizabeth N.b; Braverman, Lewis E.b

Current Opinion in Endocrinology & Diabetes and Obesity: October 2014 - Volume 21 - Issue 5 - p 372–376
doi: 10.1097/MED.0000000000000090
THYROID: Edited by Lewis E. Braverman and Angela M. Leung

Purpose of review This review will present a general overview of the sources, human studies, and proposed regulatory action regarding environmental perchlorate exposure.

Recent findings Some recent studies have reported significant associations between urinary perchlorate concentrations, thyroid dysfunction, and decreased infant intelligence quotient in groups who would be particularly susceptible to perchlorate effects. An update regarding the recently proposed regulatory actions and potential costs surrounding amelioration of perchlorate contamination is provided.

Summary The potential adverse thyroidal effects of environmental perchlorate exposure remain controversial, and further research is needed to further define its relationship to human health among pregnant and lactating women and their infants.

aDivision of Endocrinology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California

bSection of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Nutrition, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Correspondence to Angela M. Leung, MD, MSc, Division of Endocrinology 111D, University of California Los Angeles, 11301 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA. Tel: +1 310 478 3711x49088; e-mail:

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins