Navigation Links
Flame retardants linked to neurodevelopmental delays in children
Date:11/15/2012

Berkeley Prenatal and childhood exposure to flame retardant compounds are linked to poorer attention, fine motor coordination and IQ in school-aged children, a finding by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, that adds to growing health concerns over a chemical prevalent in U.S. households.

The new study, to be published in the Nov. 15 issue of the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, focuses on PBDEs, or polybrominated diphenyl ethers, a class of persistent, endocrine-disrupting compounds widely found in foam furniture, electronics, carpets, upholstery and other consumer products. The chemicals easily leach out into the environment and are inhaled or ingested through dust, then accumulate in human fat cells.

The researchers collected blood samples taken from 279 women during pregnancy or at delivery, and from 272 of the children when they were 7 years old. Analyses of the blood samples were conducted at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta.

The children participated in a battery of standardized tests when they were 5 and 7 to assess their attention, fine motor coordination and IQ (verbal comprehension, perceptual reasoning, working memory, processing speed). Mothers and teachers also completed assessment questionnaires to help evaluate the children's attention skills and behavior.

"This is the largest and most comprehensive study to date to examine neurobehavioral development in relation to body burden measures of PBDE flame retardants," said study lead author Brenda Eskenazi, Jennifer and Brian Maxwell Professor of Maternal and Child Health and Epidemiology. "We measured PBDEs both in the mothers during pregnancy and in the children themselves. It shows that there is a relationship of in utero and childhood levels to decrements in fine motor function, attention and IQ."

The new findings stem from a longitudinal study, the Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas (CHAMACOS), which examines environmental exposures and reproductive health. The study participants are primarily Mexican-Americans living in an agricultural community in Monterey County. Earlier studies found that children from the CHAMACOS group had PBDE blood concentrations seven times higher than children living in Mexico.

Evidence of adverse human health effects from PBDE exposure has been steadily building over the past decade. Other CHAMACOS studies have also revealed links between flame retardant concentrations in mothers' blood and decreased fertility, lower birthweight babies and changes in thyroid hormone levels, even after controlling for exposure to pesticides and other environmental chemicals. And findings from other smaller studies have linked deficits in physical and mental development in young children to prenatal exposure to PBDEs.

"This new study is very important because it confirms earlier published research on the neurodevelopmental effects of PBDE exposure," said Heather Stapleton, associate professor of environmental chemistry at Duke University and one of the nation's leading experts on human exposure to flame retardant chemicals. Stapleton was not part of the UC Berkeley study.

Use of PBDEs increased in the 1970s in response to a California standard (Technical Bulletin 117) requiring that consumer furnishings be able to withstand a small open flame for 12 seconds without igniting.

Today, PBDEs can be found in the blood of up to 97 percent of U.S. residents, with those in California having levels nearly twice the national average, according to studies.

"Within the range of PBDE exposure levels, 5 percent of the U.S. population has very high exposure levels, so the health impact on children in these extremes could be even more significant," noted Stapleton.

There are three formulations of PBDEs pentaBDE, octaBDE and decaBDE that have been developed for commercial use as flame retardants. Penta- and octaBDE have both been banned for use in several U.S. states, including California, but they are still present in products made before 2004. In addition, three major manufacturers have agreed to phase out production of decaBDE by 2013.

"Even though pentaPBDEs are not being used anymore, old couches with foam that is disintegrating will still release PBDEs," said Eskenazi, director of the Center for Environmental Research and Children's Health (CERCH) at UC Berkeley. "These chemicals will be in our homes for many years to come, so it's important to take steps to reduce exposure."

Examples of things that people can do at home include:

  • Seal any tears in couches and upholstered furniture
  • Damp mop and vacuum frequently
  • Wash hands frequently (especially important for children)


'/>"/>
Contact: Sarah Yang
scyang@berkeley.edu
510-643-7741
University of California - Berkeley
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Summers Heat May Enflame Hives
2. Antibiotics Linked to Retinal Detachment Risk
3. Pesticides May Be Linked to Slightly Smaller Babies, Shorter Pregnancies
4. Pharmacy Robots Linked to Bacterial Contamination of Drugs
5. 2 genetic deletions in human genome linked to the development of aggressive prostate cancer
6. Dental X-Rays May Be Linked to Benign Brain Tumors
7. In Mice, Drug Reverses Symptoms of Condition Linked to Autism
8. Huntingtons Disease Linked to Reduced Cancer Risk in Study
9. Study finds significant skull differences between closely linked groups
10. Researchers Map Brain Regions Linked to Intelligence
11. Swallowing exercises linked with short-term improvement among patients with head and neck cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/30/2016)... ... April 30, 2016 , ... The Hacking Medicine Institute ... to critically evaluate and rank health-focused applications and connected devices for better disease ... unbiased and accurate information to help accelerate patient and provider adoption of clinically ...
(Date:4/30/2016)... ... April 30, 2016 , ... Orlando-based Maximized Living has selected Dr. Nick Wilson ... Rio. Under the care of Maximized Living doctors at the London Olympics in ... Maximized Living is sending the largest contingent of elite chiropractors to Rio to support ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Memorial Healthcare System Graduate Medical Education ... that it has received accreditation for its residency program on Physical Medicine and ... Memorial is currently pursuing, including Pediatrics and Internal Medicine. This accreditation allows the ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... Torrance, CA (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 ... ... physician advocating optimistic healthcare awareness and author of best seller "LOVE, MEDICINE and ... Talk Radio Monday, May 2, 2016 and podcasted thereafter . Dr. Bernie ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... Spine Team Texas, a comprehensive spine physician group ... of their physicians has been invited to be a featured speaker at the Texas ... conference on April 30, 2016. , Dr. R. Scott McPherson, a physical medicine ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... April 27, 2016 The ... USD 2.06 billion by 2022, according to a ... consumer awareness towards a healthy lifestyle is expected ... years.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150105/723757 ... with rising health treatment expenditure has urged consumers ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... -- Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO) is pleased to ... D., to Vice President of Education and Quality. ... continue to lead and oversee Diplomat University, an innovative ... training to Diplomat employees and external professionals on topics ... houses the quality assurance department, which focuses on programs ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... 2016 US demand for infection prevention ... percent annually to $27.6 billion in 2020.  Increasing ... decrease rates of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) will boost ... services.  Although declining, the overall rate of certain ... set by the CDC.  Recent statistics indicate that ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: