The purpose of the present study was to determine if exposure to perchlorate via food items would have effects on mammals similar to those caused by exposure through drinking water at approximately equivalent doses. Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) and deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) were used to assess the potential toxicity of perchlorate-contaminated food items. Voles and mice were divided randomly into three treatment groups-perchlorate-contaminated food (PCF), perchlorate-contaminated water (PCW), and control groups-such that each treatment group contained equal numbers of males and females. Rodents in PCF treatment groups were fed chow formulated with soybean plant matter that had been grown with perchlorate-contaminated irrigation water. Individuals in the control and PCF groups were provided distilled/deionized drinking water, whereas the PCW group received drinking water containing sodium perchlorate. Only slight differences among treatment groups were observed in a variety of endpoints, including reproductive success, tissue perchlorate concentrations, thyroid hormone concentrations, and thyroid histology. However, trends observed in the present study suggest that perchlorate exposure via water may result in slightly greater effects than exposure to perchlorate via food. These data and recent reports of perchlorate in a wide variety of food items indicate that exposure via food intake is an important consideration when examining cumulative risk among humans, livestock, and wildlife.
- Food exposure
- Thyroid hormones