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Fire retardants

Fire Retardant Chemical Found in Children at Three Times the Level of Their Parents

Thursday, January 29, 2009 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: fire retardants, health news, Natural News

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(NaturalNews) Children's bodies carry three times the levels of toxic fire retardant chemicals as their parents, according to a study conducted by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group.

Researchers tested the blood of 20 mothers and their children between the ages of 18 months and four years for levels of the flame retardant chemicals known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). In 19 of the families tested, children had PBDE levels roughly three times higher than their mothers; in the 20th, a child had blood levels six times higher than her mother's.

"To us, this raises concerns that kids live very differently in the same environment than their parents do,and those kid-like behaviors put them at risk for contaminant exposure," said study author Sonya Lunder.

According to Lunder, young children are greater risk of PBDE exposure because they regularly explore their surroundings with their hands, then put their hands and other objects into their mouths. When children touch household furniture or electronics that have been treated with PBDEs, it is easy for the chemicals to later end up in their bodies.

In addition, Lunder noted, young children eat far more than adults relative to their body mass, exposing them to a higher relative dose of toxins through their diet.

PBDEs are known to build up in the body and to disrupt the endocrine system. Their toxic effects on adults are well-documented, but few studies have been carried out on how they affect children. Other endocrine disruptors, however, are well known to cause reproductive, developmental and neurological defects in infants and children, and studies on mice have found that a single dose of PBDEs during brain development can lead to permanently altered behavior patterns.

The manufacture of two varieties of PBDE has been halted in the United States, but the chemicals are still allowed in consumer products.

Sources for this story include: www.reuters.com.

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