Joshua G Schier, Amy F Wolkin, Lisa Valentin-Blasini, Martin G Belson, Stephanie M Kieszak, Carol S Rubin and Benjamin C Blount

Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology advance online publication 18 March 2009; doi: 10.1038/jes.2009.18

Perchlorate exposure may be higher in infants compared with older persons, due to diet (infant formula) and body weight versus intake considerations. Our primary objective was to quantitatively assess perchlorate concentrations in commercially available powdered infant formulas (PIFs). Secondary objectives were: (1) to estimate exposure in infants under different dosing scenarios and compare them with the perchlorate reference dose (RfD); (2) estimate the perchlorate concentration in water used for preparing PIFs that would result in a dose exceeding the RfD; and (3) estimate iodine intakes from PIFs.

The results were as follows: bovine milk-based with lactose (1.72 mug/l, range: 0.68–5.05); soy-based (0.21 mug/l, range: 0.10–0.44); lactose-free (0.27 mug/l, range: 0.03–0.93); and elemental (0.18 mug/l, range: 0.08–0.4). Bovine milk-based PIFs with lactose had a significantly higher concentration of perchlorate (P<0.05) compared with all. Perchlorate was a contaminant of all commercially available PIFs tested. Bovine milk-based PIFs with lactose had a significantly higher perchlorate concentration perchlorate than soy, lactose-free, and elemental PIFs. The perchlorate RfD may be exceeded when certain bovine milk-based PIFs are ingested and/or when PIFs are reconstituted with perchlorate-contaminated water.

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