SHAFAQNA – Flame retardants are associated with increased risks for cancer, neurological disorders and hormone imbalance, among others. Findings of a new research, however, have found that at least six toxic flame retardants have made their way into the bodies of Americans likely by sitting on furniture that that contain these chemicals or breathing in dust with high levels of these toxic substances.
For new the new study which was published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology on Wednesday, Nov. 12, Robin Dodson, from Silent Spring Institute in Manhattan, and colleagues tested the urine samples of 16 California residents in 2011 for six rarely studied chemicals, and found all of them including one called TCEP, which had not been detected in Americans before.
TCEP is a flame retardant that can have damaging effects on people’s nervous and reproductive systems and the researchers have detected it in 75 percent of the people involved in the study. The carcinogen is used and can be found in polyurethane foam, polyester resins, plastics and cloth.
TDCIPP (chlorinated tris) was also detected in almost all of the individuals the researchers have tested, which was surprising because this cancer-causing flame retardant was already phased out in children’s pajamas more than 30 years ago.
“Some flame retardants have been targeted for phase out, but unfortunately there are others that have largely been under the radar,” Dodson said.
Dodson and colleagues have likewise observed that the participants with the highest levels of TCEP and TDCIPP live in homes that have the highest amounts of these flame retardants in dust suggesting that the home is a primary source of exposure to these harmful chemicals.
“This study provides a glimpse at biological levels of an extended set of PFRs in California residents, which are in the range of previously reported values, and shows relationships with household dust levels for some participants, indicating that the home can be an important source of exposure,” the researchers wrote [pdf].
In order to avoid exposure to these toxic chemicals, the researchers suggested using flame-retardant free furniture, getting rid of dust by vacuuming regularly using HEPA filter, and washing of hands frequently particularly before eating as this can help reduce the amount of flame retardants that get into the body.
The researchers also advised avoiding exposure to foam in furniture and to use flame resistant materials that do not have chemical additives including down, polyester and wool.
Source : http://www.techtimes.com/articles/20114/20141113/shocking-study-finds-at-least-6-toxic-flame-retardants-in-bodies-of-americans.htm