I wanted to share this post about Flame Retardants after the PFAS post, to clarify the difference and help you best protect your health. A lot of times the two can be confused as they’re a bit similar. PFAS are found in fire fighting foam used to extinguish and suppress fires, as well as in things made to be nonstick, non-stain, grease-proof, and water-proof. Flame retardants, on the otherhand were designed with the intent to make things fire proof and prevent items from catching fire.
For your convenience, here is an excerpt on the subject from my upcoming book.
Flame retardants have been widely used in consumer products since the 1970s. As a result, these chemicals pollute ever crevice of our earth and have been found in nearly every person and animal tested.
Originally, Brominated Flame Retardants, PDBEs (Polybrominated diphenyl ethers) were all that existed. Then came 2004; after it was determined brominated versions were so bad, organophosphorus and chlorinated flame retardants entered the scene. Now the world is contaminated with hundreds of versions of these persistent toxins. Today, one of the most common flame retardants found is chlorinated tris.
Flame Retardant Chemicals are:
- applied to drapes, window treatments, carpet, flooring,
- applied to clothing, pajamas, baby’s clothes, upholstery of all kinds
- used in computers and appliances, styrofoam and polystyrene foam building materials, wire insulation, electronics
- applied to seat covers, cushions, foam padding of all kinds, children’s toys, tents, dog and cat toys, vehicle compartments
Although the use of flame retardants is intended to save lives and property, they continue to present a serious danger to our health. This combined with their lackluster performance and usefulness in fire prevention makes one question why they’re still in use. Evidence shows these chemicals are carcinogenic and potent endocrine disruptors. They persist in the environment and accumulate in every living organism, harming people and animals alike. They cause liver, thyroid, and neurodevelopment toxicity. God only knows how many diseases are linked and premature deaths caused by these chemicals.
How We Are Exposed
Water, Dust, Countless Products. Because fire retardants have been used in so many household products and construction materials, dust in 99% of every home and building contains them. Anything in dust can easily get upon our hands as well as our dinner plates, gaining entry into our mouth and nose simply through our breathing, eating, or touching our face.
They also accumulate heavily in our drinking water, though they are not yet regulated by the EPA. Products containing them include carpet, furniture, mattresses, drapes, textiles, car seats, appliances, toys, electronics, televisions, and of course fire proof clothing.
Fire retardants are known endocrine disruptors, reproductive toxins, neurotoxins, and carcinogens– particularly suspected to cause breast cancer. Neurologically, they delay and interfere with childhood development: they cause hormone irregularities and poor thyroid gland and endocrine system health; they interfere with the body’s ability to control blood glucose levels, and they contribute to obesity. They are wretched bioaccumulative toxins, meaning levels of fire retardants within our bodies grow throughout our life. The more we are exposed, the greater the level within us. The higher the level within us, the greater risk to our health. They also off-gas volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) and contribute to lung and respiratory problems.
Why Are They Still Used
Flame retardants are a $7 Billion Market. Read more about the industry’s corrupt lobbyist activity here.
- Filter Your water. Seriously, drink and cook with filtered water.
- Wash your hands, especially before handling food or eating.
- Keep your house clean
- Keep dust to a minimum and use a vacuum with a HEPA filter
- Consider getting a HEPA air filter (or similar) for your home and office
- Avoid products containing Flame Retardants.
- If you see tag, “meets flammability standard”–Avoid Avoid Avoid
- Look for a tag reading, TB 117-2013 stating the product is Free of Flame Retardants
- Protect your health with good food: eat dark green leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables, as well as probiotics, essential nutrients, and omega oils. As always, go organic as much as possible.
- Our shopping decisions can influence manufacturing–the less we buy of products containing flame retardants, the greater the chance manufacturers will stop using them on their products.
- Boycott products containing flame retardants.
- Encourage President Biden to add the United States to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, this way we can restrict manufacturers from using them.
Downloadable Pamphlet from the National Institutes of Health
Primary Image: source National Institute of Health
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