flame retardant

Bisphenol A (or BPA) often is considered the most dangerous chemical we come into contact with on a daily basis, but the Toxie Awards held last Thursday say that the Worst Chemical of the Year is halogenated flame retardant. And if you think it’s not something you should be worried about, think again: traces of this chemical can be found in the bloodstream of almost every U.S. citizen.

 

What is Halogenated Flame Retardant?

Halogenated flame retardants do just what the name would imply, by making it more difficult for a product to catch on fire. In the ’70s, flame retardants called PCBs were being used widely, but were banned when it was discovered they were toxic. Now, different flame retardants, such as the halogenated strain, are being used in products like furniture, insulation, and electronics, and are slowly finding their way into all of our bodies. They do not break down in the environment, and they travel up the food chain amassing along the way.

Further studies have shown that halogenated flame retardants are even being found in popular baby products – in fact, a recent study showed 80% of a sampling of 100 baby products contained halogenated flame retardants.

 

What’s so bad about Halogenated Flame Retardant?

Among other things, halogenated flame retardant has been linked to lower IQs and have effects on neurodevelopment, are carcinogenic (causing cancer), and have also been shown to have negative effects on reproductive systems.

 

What we need to do about it

Here is a link to further consumer information on halogenated flame retardants and tips on how to avoid contact with dangerous chemicals in your home.

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Another good step to take is to contact legislators in your region and make them aware of the dangerous chemical. Here is a link to contact information for all US Senators, which is a good place to start.

Speak up, and be aware of the presence of halogenated flame retardants to avoid further exposure to these dangerous chemicals.

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