Exposure Higher in Children in Underserved Communities
Alliance for Toxic Free Fire Safety
NEW YORK, May 23, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Environmental health advocates responded to the new Duke University-led study of 83 North Carolina toddlers, published today in Environmental Health Perspectives, suggesting exposure to potentially toxic flame-retardant chemicals may be higher in non-white toddlers than in white toddlers.
"Communities of color are disproportionately impacted by flame-retardant chemicals," says Martha Dina Arguello, Physicians for Social Responsibility – Los Angeles. "This peer reviewed study begs for the Toxic Substance and Control Act of 1976 to be overhauled immediately to protect our health."
Janette Robinson Flint, Black Women for Wellness, says, "Toddlers ingest more dust, which is shockingly contaminated with flame retardant chemicals. These migrate out of the foam in our couches, car seats, strollers, and other products, ending up in our children."
The Chicago Tribune's recent investigative series on flame retardant chemical makers describes the corrupt and deceptive efforts that have led to ubiquitous chemical exposure.
"Learning disabilities, reproductive problems, and cancer are among the adverse health impacts from halogenated flame retardant chemicals," says Mark Mitchell, MD. MPH, National Medical Association. "They are also endocrine disruptors and could play a role in rising rates of disorders such as obesity and diabetes."
Toddlers between 12 and 36 months were tested for polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) by scientists led by Heather Stapleton, PhD assistant professor at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment.
"Toxic burdens and the health disparities they cause in communities of color are still a civil rights battle yet to be won. The NAACP and the Urban League should take note and get in the fight to protect the health of all children, but especially children of color in New York State before they suffer," says Cecil-Corbin-Mark, WeAct for Environmental Justice, Harlem.
Kathleen A. Curtis, Alliance for Toxic Free Fire Safety says, "Despite bans on some of these chemicals, they keep introducing dangerous replacements such as the carcinogen chlorinated tris to replace them. New York is considering a tris ban."
"Due to an obsolete California regulation, chemicals have been, de facto, forced into our nation's furniture and baby products containing foam; they're persistent and offer no meaningful fire safety benefit," adds Judy Levin, Center for Environmental Health.
SOURCE Alliance for Toxic Free Fire Safety