Green Buckeye RN

EHN: Effects of Flame Retardants On Children’s Development Unclear
December 2, 2009, 10:17 am
Filed under: News

Nov 30, 2009

Roze E, L Meijer, A Bakker, KNJA Van Braeckel, PJJ Sauer and AF Bos. 2009. Prenatal exposure to organohalogens, including brominated flame retardants, influences motor, cognitive, and behavioral performance at school age. Environmental Health Perspectives doi:10.1289/ehp.0901015.
Synopsis by Kim Harley, Ph.D. and Kathleen M. McCarty, Sc.D.

The first study to examine the effects of commonly used flame retardant chemicals on children’s brain development has found both harmful and beneficial associations.

A study with Dutch children finds that polybrominated flame retardants (PBDEs) can cross the placental barrier from mother to fetus and influence childhood development years later. Higher levels of flame retardants in the mothers during pregnancy was associated with decreased fine motor skills, decline in attention, improved coordination, improved visual perception and improved behavior in the 6-year-old children.

Prebirth exposure to PBDEs has been associated with poorer learning and memory and increased hyperactivity in rats. But until now, no published studies had examined the associations of PBDEs with neurobehavior in humans.

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