Attention problem in kids linked to flame retardant exposure

New York, Oct 8 (IANS) Prenatal exposure to some common flame retardants — compounds added to materials such as plastics and textiles to prevent the spread of fire — may contribute to attention problem in young children, new research has found.

The findings highlight the effects of prenatal exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) on children’s development during both preschool and school age periods.

PBDEs are found in textiles, plastics, wiring and furniture containing polyurethane foam to reduce flammability.

Since PBDEs are not chemically bound to these materials, they migrate into the environment over time.

“These findings support the need to develop programmes for safely disposing of products containing PBDEs that are still in use,” said study senior author Julie Herbstman, assistant professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

Humans are commonly exposed to the chemicals through accidental ingestion of house dust and by eating meat, dairy, and fatty fish with accumulated PBDEs.

Researchers followed 210 mother-child pairs from birth through early childhood.

This cohort was established following the September 11, 2001 attack and designed to examine the effects of exposure to dust, smoke and fumes on child development.

Beginning at age three, researchers assessed child behaviour using a standardised rating scale, repeating the test ever year through age seven.

Cord blood samples were analysed for PBDEs to assess prenatal exposure to the chemicals.

At ages three, four and seven years, children with the highest exposure to certain PBDEs had approximately twice the number of maternally-reported attention problems compared to other children in the study.

The results appeared in the journal of Neurotoxicology and Teratology.

Leave a Reply

Please enter your comment!

The opinions, views, and thoughts expressed by the readers and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of or any employee thereof. is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the readers. Responsibility for the content of comments belongs to the commenter alone.  

We request the readers to refrain from posting defamatory, inflammatory comments and not indulge in personal attacks. However, it is obligatory on the part of to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments to the concerned authorities upon their request.

Hence we request all our readers to help us to delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by informing us at Lets work together to keep the comments clean and worthful, thereby make a difference in the community.

Please enter your name here