PFRs are commonly added to polyurethane foam, gym mats and baby items such as car seats, ostensibly to reduce the risk of the items catching fire. However, the chemicals do not remain in these items. They spread, contaminating air and dust. They can also migrate through direct contact. One 2015 study13 found nearly every dust sample collected from American homes contained the flame retardants Tris phosphate and triphenyl phosphate (TPHP).
Ninety-one percent of urine samples from the residents also contained metabolites of Tris phosphate, and 83 percent had metabolites of TPHP. Disturbingly, toddlers have been found to have levels of flame retardants that are as much as five times higher than their mother's.14 Needless to say, bioaccumulation can have serious health consequences over the course of a lifetime, and may ultimately affect the reproductive capacity of coming generations.