Volume 3, Issue 7 (July 2006)
Assessing Human Exposure to Perchlorate Using Biomonitoring
Because of health concerns surrounding widespread exposure to perchlorate, we developed a sensitive and selective method for measuring perchlorate in human urine using ion chromatography coupled with electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry. This method was applied to assess perchlorate levels in urine collected from a convenience population (N=27) consuming foods reported to contain perchlorate: milk, dairy products, and green leafy vegetables. Consumption of three or more servings of these foods in the 16 hours before urine sample collection was associated with significantly higher levels of perchlorate in urine (6.13±3.59 μg/g creatinine) compared with study participants consuming one or fewer servings of these foods (3.14±0.85 μg/g creatinine). These data suggest that diet can be an important source of perchlorate exposure and underscore the important role of selective and sensitive biomonitoring methods to assess human exposure to perchlorate from multiple sources in the environment.