Research: Flame-retardant chemicals found in humans

The cancer-causing chemicals are released and attach to dust over time and pose a greater risk to firefighters


By Edward Ortiz
The Sacramento Bee

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A growing body of evidence found an array of flame-retardant chemicals – many which are carcinogenic – in test participants, a potential health concern for firefighters and others exposed to the chemicals.

The most recent study on flame-retardant chemicals, released in October, found the flame-retardant chemical chlorinated Tris in the blood and urine of all but one of the 16 nonsmoking adults tested in the study. The Bay Area-focused study is seen as key because it tested for a group of phosphate flame retardants that, until now, have largely flown under the radar compared to research on the banned flame retardants known as PBDEs.

The results suggest the home environment is a major exposure area because those with the highest level of carcinogenic flame retardants in their urine also had high concentrations of the retardant in dust in their home. Over time, flame retardants in furniture and bedding are released from the foam and attach to household dust, experts said.

Full story: Cancer-causing flame retardants found in some people
 

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