Perchlorate is a natural or synthetic anion that can occur as a white crystalline solid or colorless liquid. It is intensively used on an industrial scale and can act as a contaminant, especially when improperly discharged in groundwater.
Perchlorate (any compound containing the perchlorate ion) consists of chlorine in its highest oxidation number – one chlorine atom bonded to four oxygen atoms (ClO4-).
There are four main perchlorates commonly used: perchloric acid (HClO4), ammonium perchlorate (NH4ClO4), potassium perchlorate (KClO4), and sodium perchlorate (NaClO4).
Often present at military or industrial sites, perchlorate is highly soluble in water, which means its contamination of groundwater can be extensive.
Exposure to high doses can cause some of the following symptoms: