Another interesting study is highlighted by the Green Science Policy Institute May Newsletter:
Hormonally Active Dust
By Anna Soehl
Even very small amounts of flame retardants and highly fluorinated chemicals (PFAS) used in everyday products and accumulating in our dust can interfere with the function of human sex hormones.
According to a new study in Environmental Health Perspectives, chemicals in indoor dust that contribute most to hormonal activity include:
· PBDEs or polybrominated diphenyl ethers: phased out toxic flame retardants still present in older furniture and electronics, as well as in products made of recycled materials
· OPEs or organophosphate esters: regrettable substitutes for organohalogen flame retardants
· PFAS: added to many products such as carpets, furniture, building materials, clothing, cookware, & food packaging
Study identifies hormonally active chemicals in dust
A summary of the research can be found here: Indoor Dust Contains PFAS and Other Toxic Chemicals (theintercept.com)
The good news is that our exposure to these chemicals can be curbed with the use of healthier materials. In North America, nearly all upholstered furniture is flame retardant-free. (NOTE: THIS IS NOT TRUE IN THE UK!!) Many companies are also moving away from the use of PFAS and other toxics. (AGAIN NOT TRUE IN THE UK!)
We would also like to challenge the electronics, outdoor, and automotive industries to move away from PFAS and flame retardants. As long as such chemicals are added to products, our dust will continue to be hormonally active.
What can we do in the meantime? Avoid products that contain harmful chemicals and keep our hands and surfaces dust-free.