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Flame retardants versus fire. Can you keep your family safe from both?

Posted by Corey Whelan on with 5 Comments

by Corey Whelan

I'm as organic as a single mother on a budget can be.  We buy little to no canned food because of BPA, opt for organic dry cleaning and natural fibers and, well, do the best we can to avoid the avoidable junk in our atmosphere.  So it was with eagerness that I opened up a new report on PBDE's from Women's Voices for the Earth.

Don't know what PBDE's are?  I didn't know either.  PBDE stands for polybrominated diphenyl ethers.  They are a class of flame retardant chemicals used to make household objects less likely to catch fire.

Let me say right now that I am still reeling from the horrific fire that wiped out an entire family except for the mother, Madonna Badger, in Connecticut.  I dream about that mother and her anguish, it was with a heavy heart and understanding that I heard about her suicide attempt yesterday.  So my first reaction to the Women's Voices report was hell, I'd rather have PBDE's in my life than a fire. 

But there's some good stuff in the report and I request that you read it.  You can avoid PBDE's without making your family less safe.  And keep in mind that PBDE exposure has been linked in numerous studies to hormone disruption, thyroid problems, undescended testicles, delayed puberty, reduced fertility, low birth weight and birth defects.

Too much to worry about and take on, I know.  The world is very troubled these days.  But please do read the report and then do what's comfortable for you and your family.  If only love were enough to protect ourselves and our families.  Sadly, that's not the case. 

Please say a prayer for Madonna.


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Jewel Jubic Jan 27, 2012 5:25am

It will create good awareness between everyone.

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Shelly Galvin Jan 27, 2012 9:47am

How horribly sad. My heart breaks for Madonna. I can't imagine a worse pain than the loss of a child - and I say this as a parent whose helping one of her children fight for his life right now.

PBDEs don't just impact humans. They are deadly to pets. Because they are smaller and curl up on materials treated with flame retardant substances (blankets, carpets, etc) they are inhaling these chemicals every day of their lives. It's been linked to hyperthroidism and kidney failure in cats. Our vet directly attributes the death of our beloved family cat, Ozzie, to these chemicals.

Corey Whelan Jan 28, 2012 10:31pm

Shelly, I don't know what to say I'm just so sorry for all of that. Your cat and your wonderful son. Thinking of you.

Jhon Robert Jan 29, 2012 7:43pm

The family is very important. Alone person miss any time here family. Your article is emotional touch me.

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Jason Toth Feb 13, 2012 2:25am

Feel sorry for you.. Nothing can be worst than losing a child.. Very touching article.
The PBDEs consists of 209 substances called as congeners.

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