formula: ClO4-; CAS Registry Number: 14797-73-0
Structure of Perchlorate
Source: PubChem
Identifier: CID 123351

Salts of perchloric acid

Perchlorates, such as sodium perchlorate, ammonium perchlorate and potassium perchlorate, are the salts of perchloric acid. After dissolution in water the perchlorate anion is formed.
Perchlorates occur naturally as constituents of minerals e.g. in the Southwest of the USA and the Atacama Desert in Chile where they were first detected as contaminants in nitrate deposits used as fertilizers. Furthermore, perchlorates are the products of oxidative processes in the atmosphere. Through wet and dry deposition these atmospheric perchlorates enter the soil and surface waters.
However, the majority of the perchlorates found in the environment are of anthropogenic origin. Perchlorates are used, for instance, as industrial chemicals, as drugs and as solid rocket fuel, as well as in pyrotechnics industries. Furthermore, the use of chlorinated drinking water for irrigation and – to a lesser amount – the use of disinfectants containing chlorine can result in environmental contamination with perchlorates.

Perchlorates are persistent in the environment and toxic for higher animals and humans because they interfere with the metabolism of the thyroid gland.


  • A major primary producer in semi-natural and anthropogenic affected ecosystems.
  • As the most dominant deciduous tree species in Central Europe, it plays a significant role in most nearly natural and also anthropogenically influenced forest ecosystems up to an altitude of 1100 m.
  • Soil is livelihood and biosphere for humans, animals, plants and soil organisms. All the substances brought in are transported, transformed and/or accumulated in the soil.

Sampling area

Sampling period

2010 - 2013

Extended information

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