Green Living QA: Is Flame Retardant Dangerous & Should It Be Avoided?
10/03/2012 | 02:12 PM
Why is flame retardant dangerous and how do we avoid having it in our home?
Flame retardant chemicals known as PBDEs or polybrominated diphenylethers are designed to slow a fire and provide adequate time for escape. The flame retardants are sprayed on foam cushions inside all kinds of upholstery, as well in most conventionally made mattresses. The problem is that the chemicals in flame retardants don’t stay put in your furniture. They go into the air and the dust inside your home.
While PBDEs are life-saving chemicals, they may actually be making you sick. They are linked to cancer, birth defects, learning disabilities and other health issues in humans and in pets. Animal studies have shown that high levels of exposure interfere with thyroid hormone, which is essential for healthy brain development. PBDEs have been found in human breast milk and dryer lint.
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