Navigation Links
Study finds hazardous flame retardants in preschools
Date:5/14/2014

Berkeley A new study of preschools and day care centers finds that flame retardants are prevalent indoors, potentially exposing young children to chemicals known to be hazardous.

The study, to appear online Thursday, May 15, in the journal Chemosphere, was led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and funded by the California Air Resources Board. Although many infants and young children spend up to 50 hours per week in day care, the study authors noted that this paper represents the first systematic review of flame retardants in early child care settings.

The researchers covered 40 child care centers serving 1,764 children in Monterey and Alameda counties. The facilities were located in a mix of urban, rural and agricultural areas. The researchers collected air and floor dust samples when the children were present, and tested for 14 different PBDEs, or polybrominated diphenyl ethers, and four non-PBDE flame retardants, including tris phosphate compounds.

The study found both PBDEs and tris phosphate compounds in 100 percent of the dust samples collected. Median levels of PBDEs were somewhat lower than those found in homes in other studies, but median levels of chlorinated tris were similar to or higher than household levels found in other studies.

"These findings underscore how widespread these materials are in indoor environments," said study lead author Asa Bradman, associate director of the Center for Children's Environmental Health Research at UC Berkeley. "A growing body of research has found links between flame retardants and a range of human health effects, including neurodevelopmental delays in children. Children are more vulnerable to the health effects of environmental contaminants, so we should be particularly careful to reduce their exposure to harmful chemicals."

While flame retardants were commonplace in dust, the good news is that levels of the chemicals were generally low in air samples.

Old flame retardant resurfaces

Of the facilities surveyed, 29 had upholstered furniture and 17 had napping equipment made out of foam. Facilities with foam had significantly higher concentrations of flame retardant chemicals than the centers without such equipment.

In response to growing health concerns about these chemicals, California banned the use of two types of PBDEs in 2006. Furniture manufacturers also began phasing them out, but products made before the ban are still found in many buildings.

The detection of the older class of flame retardants was more surprising. In the 1970s, UC Berkeley research by Arlene Blum, a postdoctoral researcher at the time, and Bruce Ames, UC Berkeley professor of molecular and cell biology, showed that brominated tris was a mutagen and presumed carcinogen. That work helped lead to the chemical's removal from children's sleepwear.

"I remember learning about the tris phosphate flame retardants in kids' pajamas when I was in high school 35 years ago, so it's a bit surprising to still be seeing them today," said Bradman. "They were never banned. There seems to have been a resurgence in recent years as manufacturers looked for PBDE replacements."

Earlier this year, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control identified children's foam sleeping pads containing flame retardants as one of three products considered harmful to consumers. Agency officials specifically cited nap mats, bassinets and infant travel beds as items that commonly contain chlorinated tris phosphate, a carcinogen and hormone-disrupter.

Change in flammability standards could mean fewer chemicals

New changes in state flammability standards may soon eliminate the need to use those chemical replacements. Previous regulations required the foam in consumer items to withstand a small open flame for 12 seconds without igniting.

Blum, now executive director of the Green Science Policy Institute and a UC Berkeley visiting scholar in chemistry, noted that the old standard, known as TB117, did not help fire safety since it is the fabric covering the foam that needs to be fire resistant. The standard, she noted, had led to the extensive use of flame retardants in furniture and foam baby products without providing a fire safety benefit.

Gov. Jerry Brown, presented with evidence that the flame retardant chemicals are linked to health concerns, ordered an update to the state flammability standard. The new regulation, TB117-2013, requires fabrics of upholstered furniture to withstand smolders, such as from lit cigarettes. It takes effect this year, and will be mandatory by January 2015.

"The new standard is not a ban on flame retardants, but manufacturers can meet it without using the chemicals," said Blum. "Most upholstered fabrics, such as leather, are already smolder-proof. Consumers should verify that the furniture they are buying is free of flame retardants, especially when children will be exposed."


'/>"/>

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

Related medicine news :

1. Study Suggests Vaccine May Help Kids With Brain Cancer
2. Study reveals how cancer drug causes diabetic-like state
3. Coffee Drinking in Pregnancy Wont Lead to Sleepless Baby: Study
4. Lower GI problems plague many with rheumatoid arthritis, Mayo Clinic study finds
5. Veggies Like Broccoli, Cabbage May Help Fight Breast Cancer: Study
6. No Added Cancer Risk From Hip Replacement Materials: Study
7. Reported Decline in U.S. Pneumonia Deaths May Be False: Study
8. Early Study Finds Some Promise for Lung Cancer Vaccine
9. Narcissists Often Ace Job Interviews, Study Finds
10. Sexual objectification of female artists in music videos exists regardless of race, MU study finds
11. Soy may alleviate hot flashes in menopause, large-scale study finds
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:8/17/2017)... , ... August 17, 2017 , ... ... The Journey to Healing Through Forgiveness ($15.99, paperback, 9781498497626; $7.99, eBook, 9781498497633) ... to encourage inner healing of memories and achieve forgiveness, through a progressive journey ...
(Date:8/17/2017)... , ... August 17, 2017 , ... Momkus McCluskey ... newest Partner. Ms. Parks is a member of the firm’s Commercial Litigation and Employment ... and provides a wealth of knowledge in matters of employment litigation, commercial litigation and ...
(Date:8/17/2017)... ... 2017 , ... A recent report indicates that circa 79 percent of 483 ... in data integrity. The FDA outlines their expectations for quality critical instrumentation in the ... of the Beckman Coulter Life Sciences Virtual Trade Show Virtual Event, this ...
(Date:8/16/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Blue Health Intelligence (BHI) announced today that Dr. ... Spiro brings over 30 years of clinical, healthcare IT, value-based care, and change management ... , “I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Spiro to BHI,” said Swati Abbott, ...
(Date:8/16/2017)... ... August 16, 2017 , ... The Data Council, ... that it was acquired by Advantage Solutions. The Data Council’s IX-ONE platform ... include the industry’s leading suppliers, brokers, distributors and retailers. The Data Council will ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:7/28/2017)... July 28, 2017 EnvoyHealth, a Diplomat company, has ... program for CleverCap LITE, a technology designed to improve ... deliver innovative health technology solutions and services that help ... CleverCap LITE offers medication monitoring and ... cover: Records date ...
(Date:7/27/2017)... Services, Inc. (NYSE: WST ) today announced ... financial guidance for the full-year 2017. ... Reported net sales of $397.6 million, a record high, ... constant currency (organic) grew by 3.9%. ... in the prior-year quarter. Second-quarter 2017 adjusted diluted EPS ...
(Date:7/26/2017)... Medical Aesthetics, a leading medical aesthetic clinic in Singapore ... several skin conditions from the inside. The natural process ... The skin becomes more transparent due to the thinning of the ... from the sun contributes to aging skin, causing age spots and ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: