Perchlorate exposure may be higher in infants compared with older persons, due to diet (infant formula) and body weight versus intake considerations. Our primary objective was to quantitatively assess perchlorate concentrations in commercially available powdered infant formulas (PIFs). Secondary objectives were: (1) to estimate exposure in infants under different dosing scenarios and compare them with the perchlorate reference dose (RfD); (2) estimate the perchlorate concentration in water used for preparing PIFs that would result in a dose exceeding the RfD; and (3) estimate iodine intakes from PIFs. We quantified perchlorate levels in three samples (different lot numbers) of reconstituted PIF (using perchlorate-free water) from commercial brands of PIF in each of the following categories: bovine milk-based with lactose, soy-based, bovine milk-based but lactose-free, and elemental (typically consisting of synthetic amino acids). Exposure modeling was conducted to determine whether the RfD might be exceeded in 48 dosing scenarios that were dependent on age, centile energy intake per unit of body weight, body weight percentile, and PIF perchlorate concentration. We obtained three different samples in each of the five brands of bovine- and soy-based PIF, three different samples in each of the three brands of lactose-free PIF, and three different samples in two brands of elemental PIF. The results were as follows: bovine milk-based with lactose (1.72 μg/l, range: 0.68–5.05); soy-based (0.21 μg/l, range: 0.10–0.44); lactose-free (0.27 μg/l, range: 0.03–0.93); and elemental (0.18 μg/l, range: 0.08–0.4). Bovine milk-based PIFs with lactose had a significantly higher concentration of perchlorate (P<0.05) compared with all. Perchlorate was a contaminant of all commercially available PIFs tested. Bovine milk-based PIFs with lactose had a significantly higher perchlorate concentration perchlorate than soy, lactose-free, and elemental PIFs. The perchlorate RfD may be exceeded when certain bovine milk-based PIFs are ingested and/or when PIFs are reconstituted with perchlorate-contaminated water.
Your institute does not have access to this article
Subscribe to Journal
Get full journal access for 1 year
only $19.83 per issue
All prices are NET prices.
VAT will be added later in the checkout.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.
All prices are NET prices.
American Academy of Pediatrics. Update of newborn screening and therapy for congenital hypothyroidism. Pediatrics 2006: 117: 2290–2303.
Blount B.C., Pirkle J.L., Osterloh J., Valentin-Blasini L., and Caldwell K.L. Urinary perchlorate and thyroid hormone levels in adolescent and adult men and women living in the United States. Environ Health Perspect 2006: 114: 1865–1871.
Blount B.C., Valentin-Blasini L., Mauldin J.P., Pirkle J.L., and Osterloh J.D. Perchlorate exposure of the U.S. population, 2001–2002. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol 2007: 17 (4): 400–407.
Bouchard N.C. Chapter 49-thyroid and antithyroid medications. In: Flomenbaum N.E., Goldfrank L.R., Hoffman R.S., et al. (Eds.). Goldfrank's Toxicologic Emergencies, 7th edn. McGraw-Hill, New York, 2006.
Capuco A.V., Rice C.P., Baldwin R.L., Bannerman D.D., Paape M.J., Hare W.R., Kauf A.C.W., McCarty G.W., Hapeman C.J., Sadeghi A.M., Starr J.L., McConnell L.L., and Van Tassell C.P. Fate of dietary perchlorate in lactating diary cows: relevance to animal health and levels in the milk supply. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2005: 102: 16152–16157.
Crump C., Michaud P., Tellez R., Reyes C., Gonzales G., Montgomery E., Crump K., Lobo G., Becerra C., and Gibbs J. Does perchlorate in drinking water affect thyroid function in newborns or school-age children? J Occup Environ Med 2000: 42: 603–612.
Dohán O., Portulano C., Basquin C., Reyna-Neyra A., Amzel L.M., and Carrasco N. The Na+/I symporter (NIS) mediates electroneutral active transport of the environmental pollutant perchlorate. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2007: 104 (51): 20250–20255.
Feng X.L., Byrd D., Deyhle G.M., Sesser D.E., Skeels M.R., Katkowsky S.R., and Lamm S.H. Neonatal thyroid-stimulating hormone level and perchlorate in drinking water. Teratology 2000: 62: 429–433.
Fomon S.J., and Bell E.F. Chapter 7 – Energy. In: Fomon S.J. (Ed.). Nutrition of Normal Infants. Mosby, St. Louis, 1993.
Greer M.A., Goodman G., Pleus R.D., and Greer S.E. Health effects assessment for environmental perchlorate contamination: the dose response for inhibition of thyroidal radioiodide uptake in humans. Environ Health Perspect 2002: 110: 927–937.
Grüters A., Biebermann H., and Krude H. Neonatal thyroid disorders. Horm Res 2003: 59 (Suppl 1): 24–29.
Haddow J.E., Palomake G.E., Allan W.C., Williams J.R., Knight G.J., and Gagnon J., et al. Maternal thyroid deficiency during pregnancy and subsequent neuropsychological development of the child. New Engl J Med 1999: 341: 549–555.
Hershman J.M. In my view—perchlorate and thyroid function: what are the environmental issues? Thyroid 2005: 15: 427–431.
Kirk A.B., Dyke J.V., Martin C.F., and Dasgupta P.K. Temporal patterns in perchlorate, thiocyanate, and iodide excretion in human milk. Environ Health Perspect 2007: 115: 182–186.
Kirk A.B., Martinelango P.K., Tian K., Dutta A., Smith E.E., and Dasgupta P.K. Perchlorate and iodide in dairy and breast milk. Environ Sci Technol 2005: 39: 2011–2017.
Klein R.Z., Sargent J.D., Larsen P.R., Waisbren S.E., Haddow J.E., and Mitchell M.L. Relation of severity of maternal hypothyroidism to cognitive development of offspring. J Med Screen 2001: 8: 18–20.
Krynitsky A.J., Niemann R.A., and Nortrup D.A. Determination of perchlorate anion in foods by ion chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry. Anal Chem 2004: 76: 5518–5522.
Lamm S., and Doemland M. Has perchlorate in drinking water increased the rate of congenital hypothyroidism? J Occup Environ Med 1999: 41: 409–411.
Li F.X., Squartsoff L., and Lamm S.H. Prevalence of thyroid diseases in Nevada counties with respect to perchlorate in drinking water. Thyroid disease and perchlorate in water. J Occup Environ Med 2001: 43: 630–634.
Li Z., Li F.X., Byrd D., Deyhle G., Sesser D.E., Skeels M.R., and Lamm S.H. Neonatal thyroxine level and perchlorate in drinking water. J Occup Environ Med 2000: 42: 200–205.
National Academy of Sciences. Health Implications of Perchlorate Ingestion. National Academy of Sciences Press, 2004.
Needham L.L., Barr D.B., and Calafat A.M. Characterizing children's exposures: beyond NHANES. Neurotoxicology 2005: 26 (4): 547–553.
Pearce E.N., Leung A.M., Blount B.C., Bazrafshan H.R., He X., Pino S., Valentin-Blasini L., and Braverman L.E. Breast milk iodine and perchlorate concentrations in lactating Boston-area women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2007: 92: 1673–1677.
Pemberton H.N., Franklyn J.A., and Kilby M.D. Thyroid hormones and fetal brain development. Minerva Ginecol 2005: 57 (4): 367–378.
Pirkle J.L., Osterloh J., Needham L.L., and Sampson E.J. National exposure measurements for decisions to protect public health from environmental exposures. Int J Hyg Environ Health 2005: 208 (1–2): 1–5.
Pop V.J., Brouwers E.P., Vader H.L., Vulsma T., van Baars A.L., and de Vijlder J.J. Maternal hypothyroxinaemia during early pregnancy and subsequent child development: a 3-year follow up study. Clin Endocrinol 2003: 59: 282–288.
Sanchez C.A., Crump K.S., Krieger R.I., Khandaker N.R., and Gibbs J.P. Perchlorate and nitrate in leafy vegetables of North America. Environ Sci Technol 2005: 39: 9391–9397.
Sanchez C.A., Krieger R.I., Valentin-Blasini L., Blount B.C., and Khandaker N.R. Perchlorate contamination and potential exposure from durum wheat irrigated with Colorado River water. J ASTM 2006: 3: 1–6.
Soldin O.P., Braverman L.E., and Lamm S.H. Perchlorate clinical pharmacology and human health: a review. Ther Drug Monit 2001: 23: 316–331.
Tellez R.T., Chacon P.M., Abarca C.R., Blount B.C., Van Landingham C.B., Crump K.S., and Gibss J.P. Long-term environmental exposure to perchlorate through drinking water and thyroid function during pregnancy and the neonatal period. Thyroid 2005: 15: 963–975.
Title 21: Food and Drugs. Part 107-Infant Formula. Accessible at: http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=be3124fa6e721a2e45b9b57490fb8cf4&rgn=div6&view=text&node=21:126.96.36.199.7.4&idno=21 Accessed August 25, 2008.
Tran N., Valentín-Blasini L., Blount B.C., McCuistion C.G., Fenton M.S., and Gin E., et al. Thyroid-stimulating hormone increases active transport of perchlorate into thyroid cells. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 2008: 294 (4): E802–E806.
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Clinical Growth Charts. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/growthcharts Accessed July 6, 2007.
United States Department of Agriculture—Economic Research Service. Domestic infant formula market. Available at: http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/efan02001/efan02001d.pdf Accessed June 27, 2007.
United States Environmental Protection Agency. Glossary of IRIS Terms. Available at: http://www.epa.gov/iris/gloss8.htm Accessed September 13, 2007.
United States Environmental Protection Agency. Perchlorate. Available at: http://www.epa.gov/fedfac/documents/perchlorate.htm Accessed May 24, 2007.
United States Environmental Protection Agency Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Program Available at: http://www.epa.gov/safewater/ucmr/index.html Accessed September 18, 2006.
Valentin-Blasini L., Mauldin J.P., Maple D., and Blount B.C. Analysis of perchlorate in human urine using ion chromatography and electrospray tandem mass spectrometry. Anal Chem 2005: 77: 2475–2481.
van Wassenaer A.G., and Kok J.H. Hypothyroxinaemia and thyroid function after preterm birth. Semin Neonatol 2004: 9 (1): 3–11.
Westgard J.O., Barry P.L., Hunt M.R., and Groth T. A multi-rule Shewhart chart for quality control in clinical chemistry. Clin Chem 1981: 27 (3): 493–501.
Yu L., Cañas J.E., Cobb G.P., Jackson W.A., and Anderson T.A. Uptake of perchlorate in terrestrial plants. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2004: 58: 44–49.
About this article
Cite this article
Schier, J., Wolkin, A., Valentin-Blasini, L. et al. Perchlorate exposure from infant formula and comparisons with the perchlorate reference dose. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol 20, 281–287 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1038/jes.2009.18
- infant formula
- reference dose
Update on dietary intake of perchlorate and iodine from U.S. food and drug administration’s total diet study: 2008–2012
Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology (2018)
Chlorine isotopic composition of perchlorate in human urine as a means of distinguishing among exposure sources
Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology (2016)
Current Environmental Health Reports (2016)
Urinary perchlorate as a measure of dietary and drinking water exposure in a representative sample of the United States population 2001–2008
Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology (2013)
The Importance of Children’s Environmental Health for the Field of Maternal and Child Health: A Wake-Up Call
Maternal and Child Health Journal (2010)