BFRs found in dust in houses, in couches and in children!
Coming back to the furniture standard in California TB117 from a different perspective. This standard is believed to be a major driver of chemical flame retardant use in residential furniture in the U.S. There have been a number of studies of the health effects of brominated flame retardants (BFRs) because of this standard.
A very short summary of the three studies are described below:
The conclusions are: From the Dust in houses survey: “Results highlight the evolving nature of FR exposures and suggest that manufacturers continue to use hazardous chemicals and replace chemicals of concern with chemicals with uncharacterised toxicity”.
This studiy states that even after the ban of PBDE in U.S. there is significantly high levels of BFRs in the dust in American homes. (PBDE and OctaBDE was banned in 2004) The scientists analysed collected dust in homes during the period 2006-2011. “Tris” (TDBPP) was detected in 75% of the homes, which is banned in children’s sleepwear because of carcinogenicity. Firemaster 550 was detected on higher levels after the ban of PBDE since it is used as replacement but still hazardous to mankind.
From the Couches study: “Given these results, and the potential for human exposure to FRs, health studies should be conducted on the types of FR’s identified here”
Another article about FR’s in couches in homes strongly support the findings mentioned above. They collected and analyzed 102 samples of Polyurethane foam from residential couches purchased in U.S from 1985 to 2010. Overall they detected FRs in 85% of the couches. Following the PentBDE phase out, they also found an increased number of FRs on the market.
From the Childrens study: “The study, the largest to date, contributes to growing evidence suggesting that PBDE’s have adverse impacts on child neurobehavioral development”
The article on the subject resulting in studies about children’s exposure to PBDE through maternal prenatal concentrations and child serum samples and associated it to children’s attention, motor functioning and cognition at ages 5 and 7 years. Both prenatal and childhood PBDE exposures were associated with poorer attention, fine motor coordination, and cognition in the school age children.