Sunday, September 28, 2014
Senator Pushes to Ban 10 Toxic Flame Retardants From Children’s Products
"The legislation comes on the heels of new research released by scientists at EWGand Duke University that found evidence of exposure to TDCPP (also known as TDCIPP), a fire retardant linked to cancer, in the bodies of all 22 mothers and 26 children tested. The average level of BDCIPP, a metabolite formed when TDCPP breaks down in the body, was nearly five times higher in children than in the mothers. In the most extreme case, a child had 23 times more BDCIPP than the mother."
"Since being banned, the average human body burdens of DDT and PCB have been declining. Since their ban in 1972, the PCB body burden is 1/100 of what it was in the early 1980s (Weschler 2009). Monitoring programs of European breast milk samples have shown that PBDE levels are increasing. An analysis of PBDE content in breast milk samples from Europe, Canada, and the US shows that levels are 40 times higher for North American women than for Swedish women, and that levels in North America are doubling each year."
“The general population of the U.S. has constant, chronic exposure to these chemicals,” said Heather Stapleton, assistant professor of environmental chemistry at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment. “In some homes, it’s a much higher concentration than in other homes” – depending on myriad factors including the house’s size and ventilation rates, where the furniture was bought and what kind it is, and the type of home insulation.
“We focused on four or five flame retardants in this study (including TPhP, ip-TPhP and EH-TBB), but there are actually dozens if not hundreds of flame retardants out there,” she said. “They’re also used in electronics, cars, planes and more.”
"TBBPA is one of the 75 different brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and the largest BFR in terms of production volume globally, used to improve fire saftey. TBBPA is produced in Israel, the United States, Jordan, Japan and China. 70% of TBBPA is used as a reacted flame retardant in electrical and electronic equipment and 20% is used as an additive to plastics. The use of TBBPA is permitted worldwide."
"TBBPA is an endocrine disruptor and immunotoxicant. As an endocrine disruptor, TBBPA may interfere with both estrogens and androgens. Further, TBBPA structurally mimics the thyroid hormone thyroxin (T4) and can bind more strongly to the transport protein transthyretin than T4 does, likely interfering with normal T4 activity. TBBPA likely also suppresses immune responses by inhibiting expression of CD25 receptors on T cells, preventing their activation, and by reducing natural killer cell activity.
TBBPA degrades to bisphenol A and to TBBPA dimethyl ether, and experiments in zebrafish (Danio rerio) suggest that during development, TBBPA may be more toxic than either BPA or TBBPA dimethyl ether."
"They detected a total of 21 chemicals in the house dust, including polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD) and tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA). They also detected 18 of the dust chemicals in the laundry wastewater. Chlorinated organophosphate flame retardants were present at the highest concentrations in both dust and laundry wastewater.
The researchers then took samples from two wastewater treatment plants, which discharge into the Colombia River, and analysed them for the same group of flame retardants. Flame retardant levels in the plants fit well with those predicted from lab data, and the researchers suggest that laundry wastewater may be a primary source of the chemicals to rivers."