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General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Numerous Flame Retardants in House Dust, Some Exceeding Federal Health Guidelines

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Volume 4, Issue 1: January
PEPH eNews

From the January edition of PEPH eNews

Numerous Flame Retardants in House Dust, Some Exceeding Federal Health Guidelines

Recent studies from our PEPH partners have shed light on concerns for widespread exposure to flame retardants in U.S. homes, and their publications garnered a flurry of attention in the lay press. Flame retardants (FRs) are commonly used in furniture and other products, and pose health risks including cancer, learning problems, and hormone disruption.

In a new report published in Environmental Science & Technology, Robin Dodson, Sc.D., at the Silent Spring Institute found that, in a survey of house dust, 36 of 44 FRs identified were detected in at least 50% of the samples. Most houses tested had at least one FR in house dust whose levels exceeded a federal health guideline

In the same issue, Heather Stapleton, Ph.D., an environmental chemist at the Duke University Superfund Research Program, published studyfindings that over 85% of couches tested contained an FR. Stapleton said, “Our study found that one California state flammability standard is affecting the entire country’s exposure to chemicals that may be causing human health problems, and it is unclear whether or not these chemicals actually offer any fire safety benefits.” Dodson added, “These hazardous chemicals are in the air we breathe, the dust we touch, and the couches we sit on. Infants and toddlers who spend much time on the floor are at higher risk for exposure.” Their research received much publicity in the press including ForbesNatureCBSSan Francisco Chronicle, and theChicago Tribune. The Silent Spring Institute offers a factsheet with suggestions on how you can reduce exposures to FRs in your home.


January 4, 2013 - Posted by | Consumer Health |

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