New Cancer-Causing Flame Retardants Lurking in Our Bodies

cancer preventionThere’s been growing concern over the use of cancer-causing flame retardants in clothing and furniture. These carcinogenic chemicals find their way into our bodies, causing irreparable neurological and reproductive damage. Scientists at Silent Spring Institute and the University of Antwerp discovered that several cancer-causing flame retardants, including a carcinogen called TCEP, are compromising our organ systems. In fact, it’s the first time the chemical has ever been detected!

What is TCEP

TCEP is considered a “Substance of Very High Concern” by the European Union and labeled a carcinogen by California’s Proposition 65. Even so, a half million pounds a year are used in all manner of plastics and polyester resins. Children are especially susceptible, due to their tendency to put objects in their mouths. Studies have shown that children ingest 10 times as many flame-retardant chemicals as adults do.

What Researchers Found

Researchers tested the urine samples of California residents. Samples revealed all the biomarkers of six flame-retardant chemicals, including TCEP! They also found traces of TDCIPP, which was used as a flame-retardant in children’s pajamas in the seventies. Shockingly, TDCIPP was phased out nearly 50 years ago, but it is still lurking in our bodies! When asked about the ramifications of the study, Julia Brody, PhD, Executive Director and Senior Scientist at Silent Spring Institute explains that it “provides more evidence that our homes are a primary source of exposure to toxic flame retardants.”

How To Protect Yourself

Experts recommend utilizing the following safety precautions:

  • Purchase flame-retardant-free furniture
  • Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter
  • Purchase textiles and furniture made from natural materials like cotton
  • Double check that electronics are not made with chlorinated flame retardants
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