Common fire retardant increases the risk of antisocial behavior, study reveals
(NaturalHealth365) Sit down on your furniture, and you’re planting yourself right in the middle of toxic contaminants. Certain laws require the foam used inside of furniture, insulation, and electronics to be treated with a fire retardant. And, although these chemicals may keep you from going up in flames, they also pose a little-known risk of antisocial behavior.
Flame retardants, which are recognized as toxic contaminants around the world, have already been linked to issues like cancer, hormone disruption, reductive disorders, thyroid problems and immune dysfunction. But, researchers at Oregon State University, have discovered a “significant relationship” between flame retardants and social behavior.
In addition, most recently in the journal Neurotoxicology and Teratology, researchers revealed that a particular fire retardant – Firemaster 550 (FM550) – could be causing antisocial behavior due to the way the toxic chemical affects the brain.
Could the chemicals in your home be causing anxiety and antisocial behavior?
Since other fire retardants, such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) have been linked to cancer, FM 550 was developed by manufacturers to replace them about a decade ago. However, with continued concern that flame retardant exposure in early life contributes to the development of neurodevelopmental disorders, researchers took a closer look at the effects of FM 550 on emotional and social behavior.
The study discovered that test subjects exposed to FM 550 displayed antisocial behavior like, choosing to be alone. These findings proved true in both female and male test subjects. And, subjects also displayed more anxiety.
While researchers were able to make the link between the fire retardant and antisocial behavior and anxiety, they noted (as usual) that additional studies are needed to learn why these effects occur.
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More disturbing facts to understand about fire retardant chemicals
Beyond the new knowledge that there’s a link between fire retardants and antisocial behavior, there are many other surprising facts to consider surrounding fire retardant chemical dangers, such as:
- Dust bunnies are toxic: These small clumps of dust contain flame retardants that can escape foam and accumulate in the dust balls inside your home. This leaves our young children on the floor and pets highly susceptible to exposure.
- Baby product warning: Many baby products like changing pads and car seats are loaded with flame retardants, putting kids at a greater risk of chemical exposure.
- Unborn babies are affected: Flame retardants like PBDEs can cross the placenta and pass adverse effects to the fetus.
- Airplanes are packed with flame retardants: The foam used in seats and throughout the airplane contains fire retardants.
- Home furniture safety alert: Although PBDEs were banned (supposedly) in 2006, the chemicals used today to replace them are also dangerous.
What can you do to protect yourself from fire retardant dangers?
First, avoid purchasing furniture that has a TB 117 of FM 550 label. It’s also essential to deal with dust issues in your home, which can be done by dusting floors and furniture regularly and vacuuming furniture and carpets using a HEPA filter.
Of course, let’s not forget, purchasing a quality air purification system can greatly improve the quality of the indoor air you breathe on a daily basis. And, yes, plants can be helpful as well – to keep the air cleaner in our home.
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