Ten years later, flame retardant ban good news for baby

A new study published today in Environmental Science & Technology has some good news for a change. The authors found dramatic declines in the levels of toxic flame retardants in pregnant women’s blood in San Francisco. The flame retardants in question, certain kinds of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), were banned in California about ten years ago, and phased out nationwide around the same time because of health and environmental concerns. The levels in pregnant women are of particular interest because…

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Dangerous inheritance: When chemicals pass from mom to baby

I can only imagine the joy parents must feel when they look at their baby’s face and see something of themselves in it. My own father proudly takes credit for my blue eyes while my mother insists that I got my big smile from her. Like so many of us, I inherited some of my best traits from my mom, but I also inherited something hidden and far more troubling—the burden of chemicals in her body. Everyone’s first environment is…

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UC Berkeley News Center: Post-Annapurna, blazing trails out of the toxic swamp

27 Jun 2013

The determination that made Arlene Blum a history-making mountaineer is apparent, nearly four decades on, as she walks her favorite trail in Tilden Park. You see it not so much in the hike itself, which is gentle enough for business meetings — she calls this placid stretch of green and gravel “my office” — but in how she views a signal breakthrough in her campaign to get toxic chemicals out of America’s furniture.…

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Washington Post: Flame retardants in consumer products are linked to health and cognitive problems

15 Apr 2013

Synthetic chemicals added to consumer products to meet federal and state flammability standards are showing up in waterways, wildlife and even human breast milk. Studies in laboratory animals and humans have linked the most scrutinized flame retardants, called polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs, to thyroid disruption, memory and learning problems, delayed mental and physical development, lower IQ, advanced puberty and reduced fertility.…

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Organic flame retardants can have effects in wildlife: An avian outcome pathway model approach

Speaker: Robert Letcher, National Wildlife Research Centre, Carleton University, Canada

Event: Flame Retardant Dilemma Symposium

April 12, 2013

University of California
Berkeley, CA…

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Environmental injustice

Vulnerable communities bear higher burdens of flame retardants A recent study of Mexican-American children in California found that those who live in areas with little access to safe outdoor play spaces tend to have higher levels of the toxic flame retardant chemicals known as PBDEs in their blood. The study, conducted by researchers from the Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health and the University of California, Berkeley, suggests that children who spend more time indoors may have higher exposures to…

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Huffington Post: New flame retardants, other replacement chemicals, pose same problems as predecessors

28 Nov 2012

Elizabeth Crowe recently learned that the red couch in her family’s living room holds a toxic secret — hidden inside its foam filling is a toxic chemical that was removed from kid’s pajamas more than 30 years ago due to health dangers. Today, her 16-year-old daughter, Hannah, spends countless hours lounging, playing guitar and watching movies on top of the contaminated cushions…

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