May 22, 2019
Assistant Professor of Environmental Health Sciences Alexander Suvorov published an article in The Conversation in which he discusses how early exposure to a family of chemicals used as flame retardants called polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) could put children at risk for lifelong liver or cardiovascular problems.
PBDEs were banned throughout Europe by 2008 and voluntarily withdrawn by industry in North America in 2013. But Suvorov writes that the widespread use of the chemicals, the lack of data about their use in manufacturing outside Europe and North America, and the stability of the compounds means they are still present in products sold in the U.S.
Suvarov reports that people born in the U.S. and Canada during the last 15 to 20 years were exposed during their early life to environmental concentrations of PBDE, and thus, as much as 20 percent of the North American population may be at greater risk of developing liver conditions and other diseases associated with the chemicals.