Issue Date: April 13, 2009
Perchlorate In Infant Formula
CDC researchers have found trace levels of perchlorate, a strong oxidizer best known for its use in rocket fuel, in several brands of powdered infant formula sold in the U.S. The highest levels of the contaminant were found in lactose-containing formulas made from cow's milk. The International Formula Council, a trade association, reassured consumers that the levels of perchlorate detected in infant formula are far below those deemed safe by FDA and EPA. But the study suggests that the safe daily dose could be exceeded when perchlorate-contaminated water is used to reconstitute the formula. News of the contaminated formula prompted environmental activists and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) to urge EPA to set a safe level for perchlorate in drinking water immediately instead of seeking a study from the National Academy of Sciences, which could take several years. Perchlorate is of concern because it can interfere with thyroid function.
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