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Flame retardant carpets cause brain development problems

November 27, 2012 (United States Of America)

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)  persistent in foam furniture, carpets and other consumer products has been linked to neurodevelopmental problems in children, according to a new study from the School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley.

According to Brenda Eskenazi of UC Berkeley, “even though penta PBDEs are not being used anymore, old couches with foam that is disintegrating will still release PBDEs. These chemicals will be in our homes for many years to come, so it’s important to take steps to reduce exposure.”

Prenatal and childhood exposure to flame retardant compounds are linked to poorer attention, fine motor coordination and IQ in school-aged children, according to University of California-Berkley’s, recent news release.

According to the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. manufacturing of pentaBDE and octaBDE were stopped in 2004. However, according to UC Berkley’s new study, even though these forms of flame retardants were banned in several states of the United States, they are still present in the products made before 2004. This could be the reason for the presence of these chemicals in the environment.


Seshadri Ramkumar
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