Flame retardants found in whales and mice
"Baby Beluga in the deep blue sea" is born with high levels of furniture flame retardants
A new study from University of Victoria called "Transplacental transfer of polychlorinated biphenyls and polybrominated diphenyl ethers in arctic beluga whales" found the whales transferred about 11% of their polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) blubber burden to their near-term fetuses. The implications of this exposure to endocrine-disrupting compounds during a critical developmental stage in unborn arctic beluga whales are unclear.
Desforges JP, Ross PS, Loseto LL. (2012) Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Volume 31, Issue 2, pages 296-300.
Mouse autism from furniture flame retardants?
Research at the Mind Institute at UC Davis found that female mice exposed to a component of penta-PDE flame retardant perinatally showed globally hypo- methylated brains and reduced sociability as adults. Furthermore, among female mice from a strain that models Rett's Syndrome, an Autism Spectrum Disorder, those who had been exposed to penta-PDE showed impaired learning as adults, suggesting that environmental exposure may increase the risk of autism in the genetically-susceptible.
Woods R, Vallero RO, Golub MS, et al. (2012) Human Molecular Genetics [Epub ahead of print].
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