Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I received this article today and thought I would pass it along.
With my mom sick right now I am especially interested in ways
to help her avoid exposure to more chemicals in her environment.



The form of PBDEs known as Deca is banned in 3 states, but is still
used in many electronic products.

Identify Deca-containing items around your house such as: TVs,
cell phones, computers, fax machines, remote controls,
video equipment, printers, photocopiers, toner cartridges, scanners,
electronic components, automobile fabrics, kitchen appliances,
fans, heaters or hair dryers, and water heaters.

Prevent young children from touching and especially mouthing
these fire-retardant items as much as possible (like your cell
phone or remote) and wash their hands prior to eating.
Shop PBDE-free.
Many companies have committed to avoid using PBDEs – ask
before you buy and choose PBDE-free products.

Inspect foam items.
Replace items with a ripped cover or foam that is misshapen
and breaking down. If you can’t replace these items, try to
keep the covers intact. Beware of older items like car seats and
mattress pads where the foam is not completely encased in a
protective fabric.

Use a vacuum fitted with a HEPA filter.
These vacuums trap small particles more efficiently and will likely
remove more contaminants and other allergens from your home.
High-efficiency HEPA-filter air cleaners may also reduce
particle-bound contaminants in your house.

Do not reupholster foam furniture yourself.
The reupholstering process increases exposure risk. Even those
items without PBDEs might contain other, poorly studied
fire retardants with potentially harmful effects.
Remove old carpet with care.
The padding may contain PBDEs. Keep your work area isolated
from the rest of your home. Clean up with a HEPA-filter vacuum
and mop to pick up as many of the small particles as possible.

When purchasing new products, ask the manufacturers what type
of fire retardants they use. PBDEs aren’t used in new foam, but
you’ll also want to avoid products with brominated fire retardants,
and opt for less flammable fabrics and materials, like leather,
wool and cotton. Be aware that “natural” latex foam will also contain
fire retardants.
What are PBDEs?
Chemical fire retardants are common in consumer products, particularly
in highly flammable synthetic materials. Some of the most
common are brominated fire retardants (BFRs), including PBDEs.
Where are PBDEs found?
PBDEs are most likely to be found in polyurethane foam products
manufactured before 2005 – like upholstered furniture,
mattresses, and pillows – and electronics. Therefore you’ll probably
find them in dozens of products in your home and office, from
the padding below your carpet, to your bed, couch, cell phone & TV.
What problems are associated with PBDEs?
PBDEs are found in the bodies of nearly every American.
Laboratory studies show that exposure to minute doses of
PBDEs at critical points in development can damage reproductive
systems and cause deficits in motor skills, learning, memory and
hearing, as well as changes in behavior. In addition, they
persist in the environment and therefore bioaccumulate in people.


Jessica said...

Buying a Foam Mattress can be really tricky now a days with the choices being so vast.

Lisa at EWG said...

Thanks so much for spreading the word about our Healthy Home Tips series. If folks want to read more of our tips or sign up to get the rest in their inboxes, it's all here: http://www.ewg.org/Healthy-Home-Tips-series. Lisa, EWG Online Organizer

mary said...

How is the new kitchen coming? I can't wait to see pictures - hint, hint!

We have been trying to cut down on the number of chemicals in our home, but it is a little overwhelming :( I do make all of our household and laundry cleaners, and we try to make informed choices when we buy new products. Chemicals - can't live with them, can't live without them....

Life with Kaishon said...

Isn't that scary? I am popping over from Karen's fresh fixin blog tonight. I love your little profile picture. That is very pretty :).

TRẦN HƯNG CƯỜNG ( T.H.C ) said...

Sex Male
Age: 36
I'm Vietnamese
I'm interested in chemicals.
I like your post.
But, i know alittle bit of English, so can read slow.
I hope i will have more your post.