Abnormally high levels of a common and pervasive chemical, perchlorate, in some women may lead to adverse effects in their child. The study, published recently in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, is the first of its kind to shed light on the possible harmful side effects of perchlorate in mothers and their children. Using data from the Controlled Antenatal Thyroid Study (CATS) cohort, researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and Cardiff University studied the effect of perchlorate, an environmental contaminant found in many foods and in some drinking water supplies, and its effects on children born to mothers with above average levels of this substance in their system. They studied 487 mother-child pairs from women with underactive thyroid glands and in the 50 women with the highest levels of perchlorate in their body, their offspring had below average IQ levels when compared to other children. "The reason people really care about perchlorate is because it is ubiquitous. It's everywhere," said Elizabeth Pearce, MD, MSc, associate professor of medicine at BUSM. "Prior studies have already shown perchlorate, at low levels, can be found in each and every one of us." Perchlorate is a compound known to affect the thyroid gland, an organ needed to help regulate hormone levels in humans. Pearce suggests that previous studies have attempted to implicate this anti-thyroid activity in pregnant mothers as a possible cause of hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid gland. Hypothyroidism in newborns and children can lead to an array of unwelcome side effects, including below average intelligence. Source: Eurekalert << Fighting Skin Cancer With 3-in-1 Optical Skin Cancer Probe New Approach to High Blood Pressure Validated >> Recommended Reading Multiple Intelligences Gardner's theory of Multiple intelligences is a salutation to the different types of intelligences that are inherent in humans. It has strong implications on children's education & adult lifestyles. READ MORE Intellectual disability Intellectual disability is a developmental delay that is significantly below average compared to peers, in terms of intelligence and adaptive skills. READ MORE Pregnancy Exercise Calculator Pregnancy exercise calculator is the simple calculator that can assist your daily exercise program. READ MORE Facts on Teenage Pregnancy Teenage pregnancy is a pregnancy that occurs in women below the age of 20. Teen pregnancies carry great health risks to both the mother and the baby. READ MORE Multitasking: Good or Bad for Your Brain? Is multitasking good when your brain frantically switches between tasks or does it slow down the brain processes causing changes in brain structure? Learn what happens to the brain when you multitask. READ MORE Most Popular on Medindia Pregnancy Confirmation Calculator A-Z Drug Brands in India Blood Pressure Calculator More News on: Height and Weight-KidsMultitasking: Good or Bad for Your Brain?