Posts Tagged ‘ fire ’

Flame Retardant Exposure During Pregnancy Linked to Lower IQs in Kids

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Pregnant Woman ChemicalsPregnant women should think twice before using flame-retardant items. According to a new study, children of women who used items with flame retardants were measured to have lower IQs and higher hyperactivity. More from ScienceDaily.com:

A new study involving Simon Fraser University researchers has found that prenatal exposure to flame retardants can be significantly linked to lower IQs and greater hyperactivity in five-year old children. The findings are published online today in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

The researchers found that a 10-fold increase in PBDE concentrations 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.

SFU health sciences professor Bruce Lanphear is part of the research team that measured the levels of flame retardants, or polybrominated diphenyl ethers, (PBDEs) in 309 U.S. women at 16 weeks of pregnancy, and followed their children to the age of five.

Researchers say their results confirm earlier studies that found PBDEs, which are routinely found in pregnant women and children, may be developmental neurotoxicants.

PBDEs have been widely used as flame retardants in furniture, carpet padding, car seats and other consumer products over the past three decades. While most items containing PBDEs were removed voluntarily from the market a decade ago, some are still in commerce and others persist in the environment and human bodies. Nearly all homes and offices still contain some PBDEs.

“The results from this and other observational human studies support efforts to reduce Penta-BDE exposures, especially for pregnant women and young children,” says Lanphear. “Unfortunately, brominated flame retardants are persistent and North Americans are likely exposed to higher PBDE levels than people from other parts of the world. Because of this it is likely to take decades for the PBDE levels in our population to be reduced to current European or Asian levels.”

The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) added two of three existing commercial PBDE formulas to the list of banned Persistent Organic Pollutants (PIPs) due to concerns over toxicity in wildlife and mammals in 2009. While PBDEs were voluntarily withdrawn from the U.S. market in 2004, products manufactured before then may still contain PBDEs, which can continue to be released into the environment and accumulate via indoor dust.

The latest research highlights the need to reduce inadvertent exposure to PBDEs in the home and office environment (e.g., via dust), and in diet (e.g., via fish or meat products), to avert potential developmental neurotoxicity in pregnant women and young children.

Lanphear says additional research is needed to highlight the impact of PBDE exposure on the developing brain. He also notes that it is important to investigate related chemicals and other flame retardants used to replace PBDEs.

Household Chores During Pregnancy: Safe or Not?
Household Chores During Pregnancy: Safe or Not?
Household Chores During Pregnancy: Safe or Not?

Image: Pregnant woman in white and respirator holds belly isolated on white background via ShutterStock

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Mom Jumps from Burning Building, Saves Toddler’s Life

Friday, May 16th, 2014

A Massachusetts woman is being hailed as a hero after she jumped from her burning apartment building and saved her 18-month-old son’s life.  The Huffington Post has more:

[Christina] Simoes first noticed smoke while lying in bed with her son, Cameron. Then she saw the flames less than 10 feet away. Realizing they were trapped in the apartment, she ran to the window and jumped three stories with the toddler, according to ABC News. She cushioned him from the fall by holding him tightly in her arms.

“I just knew we were either going to die or we were going to get out of there,” Simoes told ABC.

Once they hit the ground, she told her son to run as debris fell around them.

While Cameron remained unscathed, his mom suffered a serious vertebrae injury and is currently unable to walk. She told CBS that she might not be able to walk again.

Still, she didn’t regret the decision to jump. “All I was thinking about was getting him out of there. He mattered way more than I did,” she said.

Simoes needed surgery and faced 10 days in the hospital before entering rehab.

But with the story of her selfless act spreading, she may receive help with the medical bills. Jessica Mortensen, a friend of Simoes, created a GoFundMe crowd-sourcing page to pay expenses for the brave mom.

Image: Smoke and fire, via Shutterstock

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Tags: , , , | Categories: Parents News Now

Boy Uses Saved Money to Help Others

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Hector Montoya, a 9-year-old Texas boy, was saving his money to buy a long-desired PlayStation 4 video game console when tragedy struck his town in the form of a fire that claimed the lives of a mother and her daughter.  So Montoya decided to use his money to buy smoke detectors for families in his community that didn’t have them, as The Huffington Post reports:

Hector Montoya, 9, from Grand Prairie was saving up for a PlayStation 4 video game console. However, after hearing about a deadly fire that claimed the lives of a mother and daughter nearby, he decided to spend his money on buying smoke detectors for houses in his community that didn’t have them, CNN reported.

“It really hurts my heart to see people die in a fire,” Hector told the outlet.

He’d saved $300, and with it he was able to buy 100 smoke detectors which the local fire department installed last weekend, NBC 5 DFW reported.

“Saving a life is more important,” Hector told the outlet.

The inspiring kid was planning to save up again for the game console, but now he won’t have to.

After word of his good deed was spread on the local news, strangers decided to reward the selfless kid with the PS4 he had originally intended to buy, and also to donate an additional $100 for more smoke alarms, CNN reported.

In addition to fire alarms, download our free fire safety guide for more important tips.

Manners & Responsibility:  Should You Tie Allowance to Chores?
Manners & Responsibility:  Should You Tie Allowance to Chores?
Manners & Responsibility: Should You Tie Allowance to Chores?

Image: Smoke detector, via Shutterstock

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