The three groups most vulnerable to perchlorate health effects
With Halliburton’s recent admission that they have found perchlorate in 18 water wells in Duncan, Oklahoma (where the company had been headquartered from 1919 to 1961), perchlorate health effects are on the mind of many Oklahomans. Of all those who have been affected by perchlorate-tainted drinking water, who is most likely to be affected?
Fetuses, infants, and children. And of those, unborn children are most sensitive to perchlorate health effects. The Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR) says “the most sensitive population is fetuses of pregnant women who might have hypothyroidism or iodide deficiency.”
Perchlorate health effects can be very serious for those who suffer from them. While President Obama’s February 2011 decision to create standards for perchlorate levels in drinking water is most welcome, it cannot undo the perchlorate health effects that have already hurt generations of the most vulnerable population: unborn children, infants, and children.
Weitz & Luxenberg have defended people affected by environmental pollution for twenty-five years. We have helped the victims of water contamination secure verdicts and settlements that have helped pay for medical bills. Our successful prosecution of environmental crimes sends a strong message to polluters that not only will communities fight back against those who poison them, but the courts will, too.
Why do perchlorate health effects hurt unborn children the most?
The reason unborn children, infants, and young children are more vulnerable to perchlorate health effects is that perchlorate affects the thyroid gland’s ability to take up iodine. Iodine is needed to make hormones that regulate many body functions. The development that occurs in utero has a lasting effect on the fetus’ future health. If thyroid functions are compromised, so are many other body parts and systems.
When an unborn child, infant, or child is exposed to perchlorate, it affects them far more than it would affect an adult, whose thyroid gland is no longer regulating growth spurts and the many essential developments that occur during infancy and childhood.
Adults can also be affected by perchlorate. Health effects that exposed adults experience also center around the thyroid. The ATSDR notes that “people exposed to higher amounts of perchlorate for a long time may develop a low level of thyroid activity.” As noted earlier, the children of women who suffer from hypothyroidism are at risk of thyroid problems and many problems that result from a malfunctioning thyroid.
What are some possible perchlorate health effects?
When exposure to perchlorate leads to low levels of thyroid hormones in the blood, the low levels of thyroid in the blood create problems of their own, which manifest throughout the body. The ATSDR lists all the body parts and systems affected by perchlorate health effects, stating that “low levels of thyroid hormones in the blood may lead to adverse effects on the
- Cardiovascular system
- Pulmonary system
- Gastrointestinal tract
- Neuromuscular system
- Nervous system
- Male and female reproductive system, and
- Numerous endocrine organs: i.e. hypothalamus, pineal body, adrenal gland.
Call Weitz & Luxenberg for legal information about your perchlorate health effects
If you or your family members have suffered perchlorate health effects due to contaminated drinking water (which can in turn lead to perchlorate-contaminated breast milk and amniotic fluid), you have legal options. You can choose to pursue compensation from the companies responsible for the perchlorate contamination in your drinking water.
Call 1-800-476-6070 for a free legal consultation. No cost or obligation, just information from knowledgeable members of the Weitz & Luxenberg team. You can also receive a free legal consultation by filling out a form on our website. A representative will contact you within twenty-four hours.
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