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Environment and Human Health, Inc.'s New Flame-Retardant Report Calls for Sweeping Policy Changes
Date:11/5/2013

to be used, the country moved over to PCBs, and five decades later, when PCBs were deemed too dangerous for use, the country moved on to chlorinated and brominated flame-retardants.

In the 1970s, a flame-retardant called "Tris" was added to children's sleepwear. Tris was later found not only to be carcinogenic but also capable of being absorbed through the skin. Tris was finally banned in children's sleepwear in 1977.

Unbelievably, however, Tris is still used in many other infant products, such as crib mattresses, changing tables, nap mats, and infant car seats. "Tris was, and remains, carcinogenic," said Dr. D. Barry Boyd, oncologist at Greenwich Hospital and Affiliate Member of the Yale Cancer Center. There is ample evidence concerning the health risks from Tris to conclude that it should be removed from all infant products."

"Flame-retardants are not labeled in products, and this fact makes it hard for parents to protect their children from flame-retardant exposures," said Dr. Andrea Asnes, associate professor of pediatrics at the Yale School of Medicine. "Manufacturers should start labeling their products so that consumers can understand when flame-retardants have been added."

Recent toxicological studies demonstrate that flame-retardants pose the greatest risk to the normal growth and development of fetuses, infants and children.

"Many flame-retardants are endocrine-disrupting compounds that can affect a number of hormonal systems, including thyroid function," explained Dr. Hugh Taylor, chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the Yale School of Medicine. "Many flame-retardants are capable of crossing the placenta and therefore pose a health risk to fetuses and the ensuing child.”

"It has become clear that flame-retardants are proving to be a health risk to both the human population and the environment
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