The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us to wash our hands regularly and well to avoid getting ill. The results of this study suggest that frequent handwashing can also reduce our exposure to harmful flame retardants.
"Fire safety can be achieved by innovative product design and materials instead of the use of toxic chemicals that can remain in our homes--and in us--for years to come." said Arlene Blum, Executive Director of the Green Science Policy Institute
Every night, millions of children and adults sleep on mattresses treated with a class of chemicals that was long ago banned from sheepdips and pesticides. Every day, we sit on furniture containing the same toxic compounds, absorbing them through our lungs and skin. According to parliament’s environmental audit committee (EAC), mothers in the UK and the US have the world’s highest recorded concentrations of a toxic class of flame retardantsin their breastmilk. Banned fire retardants have recently been discoveredin umbilical cord blood. We have no clear idea of how they might affect the development and future health of foetuses. But we know that they are persistent, accumulative and associated with cancer and disruption of the hormonal and reproductive systems.
There are so many articles available about the negative impact of fire retardant chemicals on human health and the environment. A simple google search will bring up a whole host of articles, many of which focus on the US legal battles with the chemical companies.
Should I be concerned about fire retardants in my child’s mattress?Yes.
Children are vulnerable to the toxic effects of these chemicals because their brain and other organs are still developing. Researchers have found that children have higher concentrations of flame retardants in their bodies than adults.