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Used as propellants and explosives; [Luttrell, p. 132]


Perchlorates are more stable and transportation is less hazardous than it is for hypochlorites, chlorites, and chlorates. Perchlorates can ignite organic matter. [Sullivan, p. 969] Perchlorates that can induce methemoglobinemia after ingestion include: ammonium perchlorate, sodium perchlorate, magnesium perchlorate, potassium perchlorate, and nickel perchlorate. [HSDB] Most water soluble is sodium perchlorate, followed by the ammonium and potassium salts. The perchlorate ion (ClO4) is released when the salts are dissolved in water. Perchlorate ions are excreted unchanged in the urine with a half life of 6-8 hours. In the past, potassium perchlorate was used to treat Grave's disease. Doses >400 mg/day caused agranulocytosis and aplastic anemia in some cases. Bone marrow toxicity has not been reported in any occupational studies. Perchlorates may contaminate drinking water in California and Nevada at levels up to 50 ug/day, not high enough to cause thyroid or bone marrow damage. [Luttrell, p. 132] Perchlorate poisoning inhibits iodine uptake by the thyroid gland. There was no effect on thyroid function in volunteers who ingested 35 mg/day for 14 days or 3 mg/day for 6 months; Also, no effect on thyroid function in workers exposed for years to perchlorates in the range of 3-35 mg/day; [Reference #1] "There is no epidemiological evidence that environmental or occupational exposure to perchlorate adversely affects thyroid function in the United States." [PMID 20523234] "As the mechanism of action of perchlorate on the thyroid is well understood and exposures to NHANES 2001 to 2002 participants were below the reported NOEL for perchlorate, no effects on thyroid parameters would be expected to occur. The findings of this investigation support this understanding." [PMID 23018524] Perchlorate and perchlorate salts are "Not Likely to be Carcinogenic to Humans." [EPA]

Reference Link

ATSDR - ToxFAQs: Perchlorates

Exposure Assessment
Half Life

6-8 hours; [Luttrell, p. 132]

Adverse Effects

Anemia, Aplastic


Methemoglobinemia, Secondary

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