Monday, April 25, 2011

Household dust likely the primary source of exposure to flame retardant chemicals

Study Finds Flame-Retardant Chemical Risks for Children

A group of 264 Mexican-American children living in California had higher levels of polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants in their blood serum than 283 counterparts living in Mexico, according to research published online April 15 ahead of print in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP).

The California children’s levels of PBDEs were seven times higher, on average, than levels in the Mexican children. Moreover, the California children had PBDE levels higher than those reported for almost all other groups of children ever studied.

“These products tend to have long lifespans, and the flame retardants are not chemically bound to the materials they’re used with," explains study co-author Asa Bradman of CERCH. "As polyurethane foam and other materials containing the flame retardants age and degrade, they can release PBDEs into people’s homes in the form of dust."

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