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Ecotoxicological information

Toxicity to terrestrial plants

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At the moment, bibliographic analysis supports the idea that perchlorate is not toxic to plant.

The following information is extracted from Sellers K et al. (2007), Perchlorate. Environmental Problems and Solutions, Taylor & Franci eds, 224p:

Researchers have evaluated two types of effects of perchlorate on plants: vegetative stress, or inhibition of plant growth, and concentration of perchlorate in plants that may serve as a food source. For perchlorate there is no evidence that trace (µg/kg) soil concentrations will stress or inhibit the growth of plants. Researchers have used slightly higher concentrations (mg/kg) to evaluate the concentrations of perchlorate in soil or sand that will inhibit the growth of plants. Estimated NOAEL for cucumber seed germination is approximately 10 mg/kg, while the concentration considered a LOAEL for lettuce is 10 times lower (1 mg/kg).

Most of the laboratory studies to date have used clean sand or soil and then irrigated the plants with water containing nominal (and widely varying) concentrations of perchlorate. It is therefore difficult to know how actual perchlorate residuals in soil may affect wild plants. After long periods of weathering, which allows perchlorate leaching, there is less perchlorate in the surface soil and it is less available for plant uptake.