Exposure to perchlorate, a chemical used in rocket fuel, road flares and pyrotechnics, may cause reduced thyroid function in women, particularly those with low iodine intake, says a US study. This effect was not found in men.
Perchlorate has been detected in milk, fruits, vegetables, grains, and drinking water.
The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention study included nearly 2 300 females and males ages 12 and older, United Press International reported.
The researchers analysed blood and urine samples from the study participants and concluded that perchlorate exposure was a significant predictor of thyroid hormone levels in women with low iodine levels.
The thyroid gland uses iodine to produce hormones which help control energy, temperature, weight and mood. The thyroid is located at the front of the neck.
These findings indicate "that even small increases in perchlorate exposure may inhibit the thyroid's ability to absorb iodine from the bloodstream," the CDC said. – (HealthDayNews)
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