Introduction to the Sciences
Dr. Kristen Hathcock
Unit 2 Discussion Board- Truth in Science
Brominated Flame Retardants are chemicals added to reduce the chance of fire and eliminate harm. These chemicals are added to a wide range of household products to impede ignition and decrease the likeliness of fire. There are 175 flame retardants currently in existence divided into a number of different classes that include: Brominated, Chlorinated, Phosphorus-Containing, nitrogen containing and inorganic. Adversely, these chemicals have ignited a concern regarding toxicity due to the number of individuals and factors in the natural environment being affected (Gromicko).
Brominated Flame Retardants are found all throughout our everyday environment. From the indoor / outdoor air we breathe to our household furnishings. However, its contamination has been discovered in animals such as polar bears, eagles and in sperm whales. In fact, one type of BFR has been linked to breast cancer and has been a factor in disrupting the thyroid hormone system in mice and rats. The exposure of young mice to the BFR PBDE causes d isturbances in behavior memory and learning (Gromicko).
A toxicologist with the EPA has stated that PBDE’s can affect the developing brain and the developing reproductive system. The WHO wants to cease the use of PBDE’S and feel that alternatives should be used. PBDE’s have been banned in Europe and are regulated in the United States (Gromicko). Currently, in the United States a number of products are designed to not need brominated flame retardants. I personally don’t think they should be used at all if it can cause that much harm to our environment but because it is necessary in a wide array of products I know that totally diminishing its use is virtually impossible. I think BFR’s need to continue to be highly regulated because it seems as though they have unfavorable effects.
Label requirements would not...