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06 Jun 2012: Flame Retardant Triggers
Health Risks at Low Doses, Study Says

Even small doses of a flame retardant commonly used in furniture and baby products has been linked to harmful health effects, including obesity and developmental and reproductive problems, according to a

Scientists Warn of Low-Dose
Risks of Chemical Exposure

Scientists Warn of Low-Dose
Risks of Chemical Exposure
A recent study finds that even low doses of hormone-disrupting chemicals can have serious effects on human health. These findings, the researchers say, point to the need for basic changes in how chemical safety testing is conducted.
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new study. Speaking at a conference in Canada, Duke University chemist Heather Stapleton said baby rats whose mothers ate small amounts of the flame-retardant chemical, Firemaster 550, gained more weight than those that weren’t exposed. Female offspring exposed to the chemical were more anxious, reached puberty earlier, and were shown to have abnormal reproductive cycles. While earlier studies found that harmful effects were evident only at doses of 50 milligrams per kilogram of weight, the new study assessed exposure to doses as low as 3 milligrams per kilogram. “This raises red flags about a widely used chemical that we know little about,” said Stapleton, co-author of the study. “What we do know is, it’s common in house dust and that people, especially kids, are being exposed to it.” According to the Chicago Tribune, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency next year will conduct a risk assessment of two brominated compounds found in Firemaster 550.

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