Perchlorate accumulation and potential exposure from durum wheat irrigated with Colorado River water

C. A. Sanchez, R. I. Krieger, L. Valentin-Blasini, B. C. Blount, N. R. Khandaker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The Colorado River is contaminated with low levels of perchlorate derived from aerospaceand defense-related fuel industries once located near the Las Vegas Wash. At sufficiently high doses, perchlorate can disrupt thyroid function by inhibiting uptake of iodide. Researchers have reported on the presence of perchlorate in lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) grown in the lower Colorado River region. Recent work has demonstrated the potential for wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) to accumulate perchlorate when irrigated with perchlorate contaminated irrigation water in Texas. Over 45 000 ha of durum wheat (Triticum turgidum var. durum) are irrigated with Colorado River water in Arizona and California for the national and international pasta industries. Studies were conducted to determine perchlorate accumulation of wheat irrigated with Colorado River water. Perchlorate did accumulate in the above-ground plant components (982 to 3924 μg/kg dry weight (dw)) and roots (96 to 650 μg/kg dw) of immature durum wheat. For mature wheat, concentrations were greater in the stalk (490 μg/kg dw) compared to the spike (80 μ/kg dw). Most of the detectable perchlorate in the spike was in the rachis (125 μ/kg dw) and glumes (236 μ/kg dw). A majority of grain samples collected had perchlorate concentrations below levels of quantification by ion chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (IC/MS/MS) (25<25 μg/kg dw. These results indicate potential exposure from the consumption of pasta products derived from durum wheat irrigated with Colorado River water are low relative to the reference dose adopted by USEPA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of ASTM International
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2006


  • Irrigation
  • Pasta
  • Triticum turgidum var. durum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Engineering(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Perchlorate accumulation and potential exposure from durum wheat irrigated with Colorado River water'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this