PBDEs

Research Highlights

Microplastics are insidious and cause for alarm, but knowing some basics can help  you can reduce and avoid exposure, especially when it comes to baby bottles. Here is some information about containers and glass bottles.  

Research Highlights

Children’s products that may contain flame retardants include car seats, infant mattresses, nursing pillows, changing table pads, baby carriers, mats, sleep positioners.

Other products include upholstered furniture, mattresses, mattress pads, TVs, computers, printers, audio and video equipment, insulation, textiles, rebonded carpet padding, fabric blinds, paints and coatings. We are exposed from chemical leaks from products into dust, which gets on to our hands and food and then into our mouths.

An average American home can contain pound levels of these chemicals. They have been detected in the bodies of nearly all North Americans tested.

Studies have shown that prenatal exposure to flame retardants may increase the risk of intellectual and academic deficits.

Ways to Reduce and Avoid PBDEs

Studies show that toddlers and preschoolers have higher amounts of fire retardant chemicals in their blood – typically three times higher than their mothers. Learning where these toxins exist and how to avoid exposure to them is not only smart, it's a critical matter of  health for children. See below for ways to reduce and avoid exposure to these forever chemicals.

  1. Keep dust levels down by wet mopping and vacuuming with a HEPA filter
  2. Wash your hands and those of your children often, as hand- to mouth contact exposes us to flame retardants in dust
  3. Purchase baby products and furniture filled with cotton, polyester, or wool instead of polyurethane foam
  4. Avoid products that use polyurethane foam and have a TB117 label which likely contain chemical flame retardants
  5. Contact manufacturers to inquire whether retardants were added to products


Further Reading/Research Articles: 

Functional connectivity of the reading network is associated with prenatal polybrominated diphenyl ether concentrations in a community sample of 5 year-old children: A preliminary study by Amy E. Margolis: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412019309407fbclid=IwAR3Opz59gfNC8yuDl3nO96rwJmLnDzeNz126WIaBf7-xRnXQ6yrbhGQ84eI 

Developmental PBDE Exposure and IQ/ADHD in Childhood: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis by Juleen Lam: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5783655/ 

To learn more about the disruptive nature of PBDEs and PFCs, watch the 6 minute video:

"Our findings suggest that preventing exposure to PBDEs could help prevent loss of human intelligence and, potentially, prevent other neuro-developmental disorders in children.” 

—Dr. Juleen Lam
    California State                    University, East Bay

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