Sunday, April 12, 2015

Could Thyroid Problems Be Caused by Perchlorate in Tap Water?

With Thyroid disease on the rise in the U.S. we have to wonder why so many people are being effected by it and if it's hereditary or caused by toxins in the things we eat and drink. Here in Las Vegas, Nevada, perchlorate is found in our tap water.

What is Perchlorate?
Perchlorate is a salt formed when oxygen molecules are added to chloride. It is sometimes used as an oxidizer in solid fuels and is a byproduct of rocket fuel production. Perchlorate can contaminate ground water and end up in tap water like it did here in Las Vegas when an industrial complex that made rocket fuel let perchlorate get into the ground water and then it traveled through the Las Vegas wash where it ended up in Lake Mead where most of our drinking water comes from.

How Does Perchlorate Effect The Thyroid?
Perchlorate inhibits the Thyroid from absorbing iodine which can cause the thyroid from making enough thyroid hormone. When the thyroid isn't able to make enough thyroid hormone that's when you see Hypothyroidism or under active thyroid. I know this because I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism more than ten years ago and my husband was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism just a couple of years ago. Most times Hypothyroidism runs in families but neither one of us have any family members with this disease so we thought it must be caused by other factors.

According to The Las Vegas Valley Water District, "Lake Mead, which is the source of approximately 90 percent of Southern Nevada's drinking water, contains low concentrations of perchlorate. During 2012, concentrations in the treated water averaged 1.2 parts per billion (ppb). One ppb is roughly equivalent to a half teaspoon of water in an Olympic-size swimming pool."

Even small amounts and low exposure to perchlorate can have harmful effects on the thyroid. According to, "According to the Environmental Working Group, the CDC has found that perchlorate levels in water as low as 3 parts per billion - think of one teaspoon of water in an Olympic-sized swimming pool - can have an effect on women's health."

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
I've had Hypothyroidism for more than ten years and some of the symptoms I had are, dry skin, memory loss, depression, thinning hair, brittle nails, weight gain, puffy face, muscle weakness, muscle cramps, fatigue and joint pain but there are more symptoms than those I had.

So I have to wonder if the perchlorate in my tap water had anything to do with my husband and I both developing thyroid disease.