Flame Retardants: CHE call tomorrow at ten and new study showing highest levels in California dust in low income homes
CHE Alaska call: Health Hazards of Toxic Flame
Retardants in Everyday Products
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
10 a.m. Pacific / 1 p.m. Eastern
Recently, 210 prominent scientists from 30 countries signed a first-ever consensus statement- the San Antonio Statement on Brominated and Chlorinated Flame Retardants - documenting health hazards from flame retardant chemicals. Join a discussion with biophysical chemist Dr. Arlene Blum who co-coordinated the San Antonio Statement and Dr. Julie Herbstman whose research shows evidence of neurodevelopmental effects in young children from prenatal exposure to pentaBDE. To join this free call and receive the dial-up instructions, please RSVP to Alaska Community Action on Toxics at firstname.lastname@example.org or (907) 222-7714.
A new study by Quirós-Alcalá et al. found the highest levels of pentaBDE ever detected in household dust samples from a
low-income community in Oakland. They found flame retardant intake for some children exceeded recommended EPA reference doses.
Although in 2004 California banned pentaBDE and production ceased, the disparate exposure could continue as long as the sources of exposure (e.g. furniture produced before this date) remain in homes. And due to California’s flammability
standard TB117, our population will also be exposed to other halogenated flame retardants such as the carcinogen chlorinated Tris (TDCPP) from new furniture. Please write us for a copy of the complete article.
Quirós-Alcalá L, et al, Concentrations and
loadings of polybrominated diphenyl ethers in
dust from low-income households in California,
Environ Int (2011), doi:10.1016/j.envint.2010.12.003
California residents may experience the highest polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardant exposures in the United States, the nation with the highest body burdens worldwide. It is hypothesized that Californians' high exposures are due to the state's strict furniture flammability standards. Ingestion of PBDE-contaminated dust, to which children may be particularly susceptible, is a dominant exposure pathway. Low-income populations may also face disparately high exposures due to the presence of older, deteriorated or poorly manufactured furniture treated with PBDEs. We collected up to two dust samples per home (54 samples total), several days apart, from low-income California households in the urban community of Oakland (n =
13 homes) and the agricultural community of Salinas (n = 15 homes). We measured BDE-47, BDE-99 and BDE-100, the major constituents of the penta-PBDE flame retardant formulation commonly used in furniture. All three PBDE congeners were
detected in every sample with concentrations (loadings) ranging from 185 to 126,000 ng/g (621–264,000 ng/m2), 367–220,000 ng/g (1550–457,000 ng/m2), and (257–85,700 ng/m2) for BDE-47, BDE-99 and BDE-100, respectively. Median concentrations
(loadings) observed in Salinas homes for BDE-47, BDE-99 and BDE-100 were 3100 ng/g (10,800 ng/m2), 5480 ng/g (19,500 ng/m2), and 1060 ng/g (3810 ng/m2), respectively, and in Oakland homes 2780 ng/g (10,700 ng/m2), 4450 ng/g (19,100 ng/m2),
and 1050 ng/g (4000 ng/m2), respectively. Maximum concentrations for BDE-47 and BDE-99 are the highest reported to date. Indoor concentrations and loadings did not significantly differ betweencommunities; concentrations and loadings were
strongly correlated between collections for all three congeners (Spearman rho = 0.79–0.97, p < 0.002). We estimated non-dietary ingestion of each congener for one child in each home (n = 28 children) and found that estimated intake for
BDE-47 and BDE-99 exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's recommended chronic reference
dose for three and five children, respectively. Children's estimated intake via dust ranged from 1.0 to 599 ng/kg/day, 2.0–1065 ng/kg/day and 0.5–196 ng/kg/day for BDE-47, BDE-99 and BDE-100, respectively. In order to mitigate these exposures, future research must address the factors that contribute to PBDE exposures in low-income homes.
* Penta-PBDEs were detected in dust samples from low-income homes in California.
* Maximum concentrations in urban homes (BDE-47, BDE-99) highest reported to date.
* Concentrations and loadings of penta-PBDEs correlated within homes.
* Estimated BDE-47/-99 intake for some children exceeded recommended reference doses.
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