CLICK ON weeks 0 - 40 and follow along every 2 weeks of fetal development
We are still passing flame retardants on to our babies
According to new research out of Indiana University (IU), PBDEs or polybrominated diphenyl ethers, which were commonly used in flame retardants, building materials, electronics and textiles, are still around even though banned by the US from use in 2004. They have leached into our environment where they persist, and are in virtually every human population around the world.
Amina Salamova PhD, is an environmental chemist with the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs who contributed to this most recent study focused on infants born in the South Eastern United States. IU is one of just a few institutions in the USA set up to detect the presence of PBDEs in matched mother-infant umbilical cord blood.
"What is especially concerning is that we found consistently higher levels of PBDEs in the infant of each mother-infant pair — suggesting babies have higher circulating concentrations of these potentially neurotoxic and endocrine-disrupting chemicals compared to mothers."
Research findings are published in The Journal of Enviornmental Health Research.
Researchers found especially high levels of the chemical BDE-47 in infant blood, a direct result of its use, until banned, in the manufacturer of foam-filled sofas, mattresses and other household objects still in use.
Blood samples were drawn from 10 mother-infant pairs at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville; an additional tube of blood was drawn from the mothers once they were in active labor; and then another at delivery. PBDEs were found in each newborn's blood serum.
In this study, it was not determined whether any of the babies exposed to PBDEs were showing signs of harm. But, the team emphasized the importance of developing that research in a future study.
"Long-term follow-up studies of newborns are essential to determine if there are differences in health — based on PBDE levels. These findings underscore the importance of families reducing the sources of dangerous flame retardants in their homes because, over time, what's in a house can end up in a mother's body."
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are commonly used flame retardants in foams, building material, electronics, and textiles. These chemicals leach into the environment, where they persist, and are found today in virtually every population worldwide. Several studies in recent years have detected the presence of PBDEs in maternal and infant samples. However, few of these studies were conducted in the U.S., and few examined paired or matched mother blood-cord blood samples. We analyzed serum from 10 mother-infant pairs for the presence of PBDEs in a patient population in the Southeastern U.S. Out of 35 measured PBDE congeners, five (BDE-28, -47, -99, -100, and -153) were present, with detection frequencies of 65–100 %. The total PBDE concentrations in maternal and infant sera were highly correlated (r2 = 0.710, p = 0.0043). The levels of BDE-47, -99, and -100 and of total PBDEs were higher in the infant cord sera when compared with those in maternal sera (p < 0.017), suggesting that fetuses and neonates might have higher circulating concentrations of these potentially neurotoxic and endocrine disrupting chemicals compared with their mothers. The primary focus henceforward should be whether there are any deleterious effects from exposure to these chemicals on human health.
Keywords: PBDEs, fetal exposure, maternal exposure
Other authors: Paul Terry, Craig V. Towers, Liang-Ying Liu, Angela A. Peverly, Jiangang Chen
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Walk on by! That "street find" most likely contains flame retardent chemicals
or BDE-47 in its foam filled padding.
Image Credit: Public domain