How Are We Exposed to Flame Retardants?

How Are We Exposed to Flame Retardants?

For many chemicals, diet is the primary concern. Not so for most flame retardant chemicals. But how are we exposed?

  1. Chemicals leak from products into dust
  2. Dust gets on hands and food
  3. Hands and food get put into mouths

On a sunny day, walk into your living room and pound on your sofa. Warning, you may want to wear a mask. The dust you see floating in the air that we like to call “dust moats” is likely laced with flame retardant chemicals.

An average American home can contain pound levels of these chemicals. Sadly, they have been detected in the bodies of nearly all North Americans tested.

The Green Science Policy Institute tested nursing pillows, car seats, sleeping wedges, portable crib mattresses, baby carriers, strollers, and changing table pads. 80% of the products we tested contained toxic or untested flame retardants.

Arlene Blum

Arlene Blum PhD, biophysical chemist, author, and mountaineer is a Visiting Scholar in Chemistry UC Berkeley and also executive director of the Green Science Policy Institute.

Note: This Perspectives Blog post is written by a guest blogger of The opinions expressed on this post do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Dr. Greene or, and as such we are not responsible for the accuracy of the information supplied. View the license for this post.

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