According to the findings of a new study published on July 24, 2014 in the peer-reviewed scientific Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism prenatal exposure to perchlorate may lower the IQ of unborn children (Taylor et al. 2014). Perchlorate is found in many foods and in some drinking water supplies. It is also authorized for use as an antistatic agent in contact with dry foods by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), U.S. and Cardiff University, UK, investigated the effect of perchlorate exposure using data on 487 mother-child pairs from the Controlled antenatal Thyroid Study (CATS) cohort with underactive thyroid glands. The 50 women with the highest perchlorate levels where found to give birth to children with below average IQ levels compared to other children. Perchlorate is known to affect the thyroid gland. An underactive thyroid in newborns and children may lead to below average intelligence apart from other adverse effects.

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Boston University Medical Center (August 5, 2014). “Common chemical in mothers may negatively affect the IQ of their unborn children.Science Daily.


Taylor, P. et al. (2014). “Maternal perchlorate levels in women with borderline thyroid function during pregnancy and the cognitive development of their offspring; Data from the Controlled Antenatal Thyroid Study.” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (published online July 24, 2014).