Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

High levels of potentially toxic flame retardants in California pregnant women

Date:
August 11, 2011
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Pregnant women in Northern California have the highest PBDE flame retardant exposures reported to date among pregnant women worldwide. A new article describes some of the first evidence from humans that certain flame retardants may interfere with thyroid hormone signaling during pregnancy, which is critical to brain development.

Carpets. Flame retardant chemicals, known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), have been widely used in furniture foam, plastics, carpets, consumer electronics, wire insulation, and other products since the 1970s.
Credit: Leonid Nyshko / Fotolia

A new study finds that pregnant women in Northern California have the highest PBDE flame retardant exposures reported to date among pregnant women worldwide. It also describes some of the first evidence from humans that certain flame retardants may interfere with thyroid hormone signaling during pregnancy, which is critical to fetal brain development.

Related Articles


The study, described as one of the most extensive to date on flame retardant exposures in pregnant women, appears in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Ami Zota and colleagues note that the flame retardant chemicals, known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), have been widely used in furniture foam, plastics, carpets, consumer electronics, wire insulation, and other products since the 1970s. Although California banned manufacture and import of certain PBDEs in 2004, human exposure continues from old products, house dust, food, and other sources. Studies suggest that PBDE exposure during pregnancy may disrupt thyroid function, with adverse effects on normal development of the fetus's brain that persist throughout life, and also have adverse effects on the mother.

In their study of 25 second-trimester pregnant women in California, the researchers found the highest-ever levels of certain PBDEs among pregnant women worldwide. The high exposure most likely was the unintended consequence of California's furniture flammability standards, which manufacturers have met since 1975 by adding PBDE's to foam in upholstered furniture, Zota and colleagues said. While preliminary, the study also found a link between PBDE levels and levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone, a substance produced in the brain, that helps regulate activity of the thyroid gland.

The authors acknowledge funding from the Passport Foundation Science Innovation Fund, Mrs. Audrey McMahon of the Learning Disabilities Association of America, and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ami R Zota, June-Soo Park, Yunzhu Wang, Myrto Petreas, Thomas Zoeller, Tracey J. Woodruff. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), hydroxylated PBDEs (OH-PBDEs), and measures of thyroid function in second trimester pregnant women in California. Environmental Science & Technology, 2011; 110810085131008 DOI: 10.1021/es200422b

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "High levels of potentially toxic flame retardants in California pregnant women." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110810093826.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2011, August 11). High levels of potentially toxic flame retardants in California pregnant women. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110810093826.htm
American Chemical Society. "High levels of potentially toxic flame retardants in California pregnant women." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110810093826.htm (accessed January 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The CDC is urging people to get vaccinated for measles amid an outbreak that began at Disneyland and has now infected more than 90 people. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Newsy (Jan. 30, 2015) President Obama is expected to speak with drugmakers Friday about his Precision Medicine Initiative first introduced last week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

AP (Jan. 30, 2015) The NFL announced this week that the number of game concussions dropped by a quarter over last season. Still, the dangers of the sport still weigh on players, and parents&apos; minds. (Jan. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The U.S. has proposed analyzing genetic information from more than 1 million American volunteers to learn how genetic variants affect health and disease. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins