A new study published online on April 24, 2015 in the peer-reviewed journal Food Additives & Contaminants: Part A estimates perchlorate exposure of French children ages 6 months and younger. Perchlorate is an endocrine disrupter known to affect the thyroid’s uptake of iodine. Vigreux-Besret and colleagues measured perchlorate in water and infant formulae after reconstitution with perchlorate-free water. The researchers then estimated perchlorate exposure of children ages 6 months and younger. A tolerable daily intake (TDI) was established at 0.7 μg/kg body weight (bw)/day based on the inhibition of iodine uptake. Daily intakes of perchlorate via infant formulae available on the French market do not exceed the TDI for 95% of the population of children aged under 6 months provided that the infant formula they consume is prepared with water containing on average 1 µg/l of perchlorate. If, however, water containing perchlorate at concentrations higher than 2 µg/l is used, the TDI might be exceeded in 5% of children under 6 months of age. The authors highlight that perchlorate concentrations higher than 2 µg/l have been previously measured in drinking water in France, thus the risk related to the presence of perchlorate cannot be ruled out for this population. According to the authors, more research is needed to clarify the sources of perchlorate contamination in infant formulae and to identify the actual origins of water contamination with perchlorate in order to reduce population exposure.

In the U.S., perchlorate is authorized for use in antistatic agents in contact with dry foods by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, nine consumer groups have recently requested the FDA to prohibit this use of perchlorate (FPF reported).

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Vigreux-Besret, C. et al. (2015). “Perchlorate: water and infant formulae contamination in France and risk assessment in infants.Food Additives & Contaminants: Part A (published online April 24, 2015).