Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Perchlorate exposure from infant formula and comparisons with the perchlorate reference dose

Abstract

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.

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

$32.00

All prices are NET prices.

References

  • American Academy of Pediatrics. Update of newborn screening and therapy for congenital hypothyroidism. Pediatrics 2006: 117: 2290–2303.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • 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.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • 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.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • 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.

    Google Scholar 

  • 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.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • 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.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • 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.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • 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.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fomon S.J., and Bell E.F. Chapter 7 – Energy. In: Fomon S.J. (Ed.). Nutrition of Normal Infants. Mosby, St. Louis, 1993.

    Google Scholar 

  • 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.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Grüters A., Biebermann H., and Krude H. Neonatal thyroid disorders. Horm Res 2003: 59 (Suppl 1): 24–29.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • 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.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hershman J.M. In my view—perchlorate and thyroid function: what are the environmental issues? Thyroid 2005: 15: 427–431.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • 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.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • 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.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • 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.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • 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.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lamm S., and Doemland M. Has perchlorate in drinking water increased the rate of congenital hypothyroidism? J Occup Environ Med 1999: 41: 409–411.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • 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.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • 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.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • 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.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • 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.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pemberton H.N., Franklyn J.A., and Kilby M.D. Thyroid hormones and fetal brain development. Minerva Ginecol 2005: 57 (4): 367–378.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • 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.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • 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.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • 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.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • 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.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • 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.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • 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.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • 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=21:2.0.1.1.7.4&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.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • 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.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • van Wassenaer A.G., and Kok J.H. Hypothyroxinaemia and thyroid function after preterm birth. Semin Neonatol 2004: 9 (1): 3–11.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • 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.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • 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.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Joshua G Schier.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

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

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/jes.2009.18

Keywords

  • perchlorate
  • infant formula
  • reference dose
  • exposure

Further reading

Search

Quick links