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Safety of Flame Retardants in Question

Story at-a-glance -

  • Toxic flame-retardant chemicals (polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs) are widely used in foam furniture cushions, carpets, textiles, foam insulation, children’s products and more, despite research showing they may cause neurodevelopmental delays, cancer, and fertility and thyroid problems.
  • Ironically, the chemicals also do little to actually suppress flames compared to non-treated items, and some may even increase the release of toxic gases released into the air during a fire.
  • Following an outpouring of consumer feedback, Gatorade said it would be removing brominated vegetable oil (BVO), which was first patented as a flame retardant, from their products.
  • PBDEs are often found in household dust, so clean up with a HEPA-filter vacuum and/or a wet mop often.

By Dr. Mercola

The average U.S. home contains multiple sources of toxic flame-retardant chemicals (polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs), as they're widely used in


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