Posts Tagged ‘ news ’

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

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 While PBDEs were voluntarily withdrawn from the U.S. market in 2004, products manufactured before then may still contain PBDEs, which can continue to be released into the environment and accumulate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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Welcome to Parents News Now!

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Parents News Now by Holly Lebowitz RossiHello, and welcome to Parents News Now here on!

To start, I thought I’d share a word about me.  I’m not new to news–I’ve been a reporter and editor for more than 15 years covering topics ranging from religion to health to food.

But I am new to parenting, and since my son was born almost 6 months ago, I’ve been amazed at how quickly my news appetites have changed.  It started during my pregnancy, when I would search hungrily for any new developments in the physical and emotional journeys of pregnancy, labor, and delivery.  And now that I’m a full-fledged mom, I find myself scanning my regular daily news stops (which I actually have the energy to do now that we’re all getting some sleep at night…) for the latest information and research about raising healthy kids, child development, educational trends, product recalls, and even the  celebrity parenting scuttlebutt.

These and other topics are what you’ll find each day on Parents News Now (PNN, if you will forgive some mild cuteness!).  I’ll scan the headlines and keep you in the know, hopefully making “find out what’s going on in the parenting world” one less item on your long to-do list.

Finally, a blog is a conversation, and I hope that PNN will be a lively one, where you feel free to share your views on the news of the day, submit items you noticed and think we should discuss, and generally connect with other informed parents.

How can you do that, you might ask?  Here are 3 ways to start:

Email Me

Follow Me on Twitter

“Like” Parents News Now on Facebook

Here we go!

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