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Experts Fear Flame Retardants Are Triggering a Health Crisis

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

Story at-a-glance -

  • After one class of fire retardants was banned, another equally dangerous class was added to consumer products; both are associated with a reduction in IQ as well as fertility issues and a potential increased risk of diabetes
  • One research team refers to it as a “regrettable substitution” and calls for safety evaluation of chemicals based on class
  • Fire retardants, which are regulated, are found in car seats, infant mattresses and fabric blinds, yet the EPA phased out one class due to evidence of liver, thyroid and neurodevelopmental toxicity in children
  • A team of scientists is concerned that manufacturers are programming children for diabetes, finding that one class of fire retardants permanently alters liver function and increases insulin resistance
  • Help reduce your exposure by washing your hands before eating, using a vacuum with a HEPA filter, dusting with a damp cloth and seeking products without flame retardants

As discussed in this short video by Green Science Policy Institute, flame retardants are one of the six classes or families of chemicals that are found in consumer products and negatively affect health. The classes of concern include highly fluorinated products, antimicrobials, bisphenols and phthalates, some solvents, specific metals and flame retardants.

One simple and effective way to reduce your exposure is to practice regular hand-washing. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, you can reduce your child's exposure to flame retardant chemicals using simple hand-washing techniques. The chemicals are added to several consumer products with the intent to make them less prone to burn and to burn more slowly if and when they do.

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