FDA Cites National Academy of Sciences In Denying Perchlorate Ban Petition

In a May 4, 2017 Federal Register notice, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) denied a petition to ban the use of perchlorate in food packaging. Consistent with 60 years of research, FDA’s repose to the petition cited numerous sources and a thorough rationale for why the petition failed to demonstrate that the amount of perchlorate in food packaging poses any public health risk for infants. Importantly, FDA cited the landmark 2005 study, Health Implications of Perchlorate Ingestion by the National Academy of Sciences, which identified a level at which perchlorate has no measurable effect on human health, and further suggested a perchlorate reference dose, which it asserted would be a safe exposure level for anyone over a lifetime, including the most sensitive populations.  FDA’s use of this report, while not the only rational for denying the petition, once again demonstrates that the NAS report remains the gold standard in understanding perchlorate and human health.


  • There was a significant decrease in urinary perchlorate, thiocyanate, and iodide from 2005 to 2014. Nitrate did not decrease.
  • Total exposure of perchlorate from food and water sources has decreased since 2005, when UCMR1 was collected.
  • We also confirmed that when evaluating perchlorate, nitrate, and thiocyanate in Perchlorate Equivalent Concentrations, perchlorate contributes less than 1%.