The Hidden Dangers of Flame Retardants

Chemicals may harm brain development in young children

Your old sofa, as comfy as it is, could be a hazard to your children’s health. That’s because fabrics and foam manufactured before 2005 likely were treated with flame retardants like PBDEs. These toxic chemicals may affect brain development in young children, research suggests.

A new study at Oregon State is designed to help clarify the risks. A multidisciplinary team of researchers at the Corvallis and OSU-Cascades campuses is monitoring 100 preschoolers in both communities, looking at chemical exposure and children’s behavior, particularly their ability to self-regulate, a key to school readiness.

“Given the fact that the numbers of children with neurological and cognitive disabilities is on the rise in the developing world, many have hypothesized that exposure to chemicals may be a contributing factor,” says Molly Kile, the public health environmental epidemiologist who is leading the study.

One Response to “The Hidden Dangers of Flame Retardants”

  1. Moina McMath Walton says:

    It is not just your old sofa – it could be your PVC flooring, your computer, your non-stick cookware, and more common items. Both the CDC and FDA report that our blood contains flame retardants, parabens, Bishpenol A, and phtalates. These are in addition to pesticides, herbacides, PCBs, etc. There are over 78,000 chemicals on the market. And if you eat produce from other countries, you can add lots more chemicals to the list of what is in your body. This is because DDT and other poisons are not regulated in other countries and the U.S. chemical industry exports millions of pounds of chemicals and pesticides, banned in the US, to Mexico and other countries that send their tainted produce back to consumers in the U.S.

    Meanwhile the chemical industry spends millons each year lobbying against chemical regulation and reform.

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