This week, Congressman Joe Baca (D-Rialto) introduced legislation that requests the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services take action to educate the public on the importance of adequate iodine intake. The resolution, H. Con. Res. 347, serves to raise awareness, particularly to women and families, of the risks involved with iodine deficiency, which include greater rates of mental impairment in children, and greater damage to the thyroid from exposure to perchlorate.
"Unfortunately, iodine deficiency has become a major health problem in the United States. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention widely recognizes iodine deficiency as a contributing factor of thyroid problems in women that lead to impairment issues in infants," said Rep. Baca. "My resolution requests that the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services take concrete steps to better educate the public on this important issue. My hope is to raise awareness of the vital importance of iodine intake, so our families have the tools necessary to protect themselves."
The issue of iodine intake is of particular importance to the Inland Empire because of perchlorate contamination present in the drinking water of some Inland communities. Perchlorate, a rocket fuel additive, is a volatile organic compound that has been found to be harmful to humans as it interferes with thyroid function. One of the most effective tools to minimize the harmful actions of perchlorate is to make certain that women with iodine deficiency seek medical attention.
"Many families in Rialto, Fontana, Colton, and throughout Southern California are concerned about the quality and safety of the water they drink," added Rep. Baca. "Perchlorate has contaminated sources in my Congressional District and other areas, making the water unsafe if it is not treated. My resolution is an important part of the solution to this problem. By becoming knowledgeable on the risks of iodine deficiency and working actively towards adequate intake levels, we can help lower the threat perchlorate poses to the wellbeing of our families and communities."
H. Con. Res. 347 has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.