Organic Consumers Association

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Flame Retardants and Fluoride Linked to Reduced IQ

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Health Issues page and our Appetite For a Change page.

Did you know that items you come into contact with every day, such as your couch cushions, your carpeting, and your mattress, might be exposing you to highly toxic compounds?

In most cases, they will contain flame-retardant chemicals that have been linked to serious health risks like infertility, birth defects, neurodevelopmental delays, reduced IQ scores and behavioral problems in children, hormone disruptions, and various forms of cancer.

In fact, flame retardant chemicals were recently identified as one of 17 "high priority" chemical groups that should be avoided to1, 2

Exposure to Flame Retardants in Utero Can Lead to IQ Reduction

Recent research3 also shows that children whose mothers were exposed to flame retardant chemicals during pregnancy have lower IQ, and are more prone to hyperactivity disorders.

The researchers initially measured the levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in women at 16 weeks of pregnancy. The health of the children was then monitored until the age of five. As reported by The Vancouver Sun:4

"[W]omen with a high level of PBDEs in early pregnancy, when the fetal brain is developing, was associated with a 4.5 IQ decrement, which is comparable with the impact of environmental lead exposure. The researchers say their results confirm earlier studies that found PBDEs may be developmental neurotoxicants...

The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) added two of three existing commercial PBDE formulas to the list of banned Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) due to concerns over toxicity in wildlife and mammals in 2009.

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