Effects of Six Months of Daily Low-Dose Perchlorate Exposure on Thyroid Function in Healthy Volunteers

Lewis E. Braverman, Elizabeth N. Pearce, Xuemei He, Sam Pino, Mara Seeley, Barbara Beck, Barbarajean Magnani, Benjamin C. Blount and Anthony Firek. “Effects of Six Months of Daily Low-Dose Perchlorate Exposure on Thyroid Function in Healthy Volunteers.” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 91(7), 2721-2724. (doi:10.1210/jc.2006-0184)
Objective: The objective of the study was to determine whether prolonged exposure (6 months) to low levels of perchlorate would perturb thyroid function.

Design: This was a prospective, double-blinded, randomized trial.

Participants: The study population consisted of 13 healthy volunteers.

Intervention: Interventions included placebo vs. 0.5 mg or 3.0 mg potassium perchlorate daily.

Main Outcome Measures: Serum thyroid function tests, 24-h radioactive iodine uptake, serum thyroglobulin (Tg), urinary iodine and perchlorate, and serum perchlorate were measured.

Results: Mean urinary perchlorate value during ingestion of 0.5 mg perchlorate daily was 332.7 ± 66.1 µg per 24 h or 248.5 ± 64.5 µg/g creatinine and mean values for the four subjects who received 3 mg perchlorate daily were 2079.5 ± 430.0 µg per 24 h or 1941.7 ± 138.5 µg/g creatinine. There was no significant change in the thyroid 123I uptakes during perchlorate administration. There were no significant changes in serum T3, free T4 index, TSH, or Tg concentrations during the exposure period, compared to baseline or postexposure values. Urine iodine values for the 3-mg perchlorate group were higher, but not significantly so, at baseline than during perchlorate exposure.

Conclusions: We observed that a 6-month exposure to perchlorate at doses up to 3 mg/d had no effect on thyroid function, including inhibition of thyroid iodide uptake as well as serum levels of thyroid hormones, TSH, and Tg.

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