Nav: Home

Flame retardant exposure linked to income, BMI and household smoking

December 21, 2016

A class of flame retardants known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) have been phased out of production in the U.S. out of concern for their potential neurotoxic effects, particularly in young children. But the compounds persist in older furniture, plastics and textiles, and in dust. Now a new report in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology examines the factors that help predict which children could be at a higher risk for exposure to these compounds.

Studies in animals and humans suggest that PBDEs, which are structurally similar to thyroid hormones, could have neurotoxic effects. As a result, various formulations of the flame retardants were phased out in the U.S. as far back as 2004. But the compounds had been added to products such as sofas that people keep for years. And PBDEs can continue to migrate into household dust from these items. Other studies have found that young children, who often put their hands and toys --and any dust that has settled on these items -- in their mouths, tend to have the highest concentrations of PBDEs in their blood. Lyndsey Darrow and colleagues wanted to take a closer look to see whether particular groups of children might be affected more than others.

The researchers tested the blood levels of various PBDEs in 80 children between the ages of 1 and 5, all of whom were born after the U.S. phase-out in 2004 of two types of PBDE commercial formulations. Results showed that lower median income within a neighborhood, lower BMI and smoking in the household corresponded to higher PBDE levels. The researchers note that the socioeconomic disparity in PBDE exposure will likely increase over time as the more economically well-off continue to replace their older products with ones that don't contain these flame retardants. The team speculates that lower BMI could lead to higher PBDE blood concentrations because the compounds accumulate in fat, which leaner kids have less of. However, it is unclear why smoking affects PBDE exposure.
-end-
The authors acknowledge funding from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

The paper's abstract will be available on Dec. 21 here: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.6b04696

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With nearly 157,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

To automatically receive news releases from the American Chemical Society, contact newsroom@acs.org.

Follow us: TwitterFacebook

American Chemical Society

Related Smoking Articles:

Smoking rates falling in adults, but stroke survivors' smoking rates remain steady
While the rate of Americans who smoke tobacco has fallen steadily over the last two decades, the rate of stroke survivors who smoke has not changed significantly.
What is your risk from smoking? Your network knows!
A new study from researchers at Penn's Annenberg School for Communication found that most people, smokers and non-smokers alike, were nowhere near accurate in their answers to questions about smoking's health effects.
Want to quit smoking? Partner up
Kicking the habit works best in pairs. That's the main message of a study presented today at EuroPrevent 2019, a scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).
Smoking and mortality in Asia
In this analysis of data from 20 studies conducted in China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and India with more than 1 million participants, deaths associated with smoking continued to increase among men in Asia grouped by the years in which they were born.
Predictors of successfully quitting smoking among smokers registered at the quit smoking clinic at a public hospital in northeastern Malaysia
In the current issue of Family Medicine and Community Health, Nur Izzati Mohammad et al. consider how cigarette smoking is one of the risk factors leading to noncommunicable diseases such as cardiovascular and respiratory system diseases and cancer.
Restaurant and bar smoking bans do reduce smoking, especially among the highly educated
Smoking risk drops significantly in college graduates when they live near areas that have completely banned smoking in bars and restaurants, according to a new study in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
How the UK smoking ban increased wellbeing
Married women with children reported the largest increase in well-being following the smoking bans in the UK in 2006 and 2007 but there was no comparable increase for married men with children.
Smoking study personalizes treatment
A simple blood test is allowing Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) researchers to determine which patients should be prescribed varenicline (Chantix) to stop smoking and which patients could do just as well, and avoid side effects, by using a nicotine patch.
A biophysical smoking gun
While much about Alzheimer's disease remains a mystery, scientists do know that part of the disease's progression involves a normal protein called tau, aggregating to form ropelike inclusions within brain cells that eventually strangle the neurons.
A case where smoking helped
A mutation in the hemoglobin of a young woman in Germany was found to cause her mild anemia.
More Smoking News and Smoking Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: Reinvention
Change is hard, but it's also an opportunity to discover and reimagine what you thought you knew. From our economy, to music, to even ourselves–this hour TED speakers explore the power of reinvention. Guests include OK Go lead singer Damian Kulash Jr., former college gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, and entrepreneur Nick Hanauer.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 6: Strange Times
Covid has disrupted the most basic routines of our days and nights. But in the middle of a conversation about how to fight the virus, we find a place impervious to the stalled plans and frenetic demands of the outside world. It's a very different kind of front line, where urgent work means moving slow, and time is marked out in tiny pre-planned steps. Then, on a walk through the woods, we consider how the tempo of our lives affects our minds and discover how the beats of biology shape our bodies. This episode was produced with help from Molly Webster and Tracie Hunte. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.