Thyroid Threat, The Environmental Working Group

This series of articles was compiled by the Environmental Working Group to highlight the issues around perchlorate (a rocket fuel contaminate) polluting drinking water and the food supply and the effect on women of childbearing years and their fetus and young children.  Even small exposure to perchlorate (5 parts per billion) is associated with a 16% reduction in thyroid hormone levels in women with lower iodine levels.  The current EPA standard for clean up of perchlorate contaminated waste sites is 24.5 ppb.  Massachusetts instituted the strictest standard at 2 ppb with California requiring 6 ppb.  The Environmental Working Group recommends 1 ppb as the acceptable drinking water standard.  The concern is that even mild hypothyroidism has been shown to impair cognitive development of the fetus, resulting in developmental delays and even more serious mental retardation.

What I found fascinating is that the issue of the dietary deficiency of iodine was mentioned as the correlating factor but little focus was addressed in this area.  Although I agree that the cleanup of contaminated waste sites and water supplies is critical, it seems that jumping to the conclusion that thyroid replacement hormone is the only answer for these women ignores the body’s actual need for iodine.  In the work done by Dr. Guy Abraham, he makes a compelling case that many in our current western culture are deficient in iodine to our great detriment.  I found the articles enlightening and concerning as I consider the impact of increasing toxicity and decreasing nutritional value in our daily food has on the health of the population.

You can find these articles at http://www.ewg.org/reports/thyroidthreat

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