Halogenated Flame Retardants are the mostly widely used types of flame retardants. They are found in upholstery, carpet, insulation, cars, airplanes, and in children’s clothing and strollers. These chemicals are highly mobile and are appearing in household dust and food at alarming levels. A study in Boston found the product in 96 percent of house dust samples. The amount found in the blood of Americans has been doubling every few years for decades. In addition, the manufacture and disposal of products containing these chemicals poses a great risk to humans and the environment alike.
Halogenated Flame Retardants have been found to interfere with the reproductive system and thyroid function. In addition, the products have been linked to cancer, immunotoxicity, neurological development in children, tumors in the kidney and thyroid glands, and poor sperm quality.
Halogenated flame retardants should be eliminated completely. The role of a flame retardant is to stop the ignition of a flammable material and to slow the spread of fire. They are effective during the ignition of a fire. Once a fire is fully lit, the flame retardant has little effect. New construction should focus on fire resistant construction details and sprinkler usage. The link below provides specific ways that we can move away from the use of these flame retardants.