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Posted Sat May 1 2010: from Environmental Health Perspectives:
Human Exposure to PBDEs, with Heather Stapleton
...Flame retardant chemicals can be found in everything from kids' car seats to the cushions in your old living room couch. The bad news is that they can probably also be found in you. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, PBDEs--or polybrominated diphenyl ethers--show up in the bodies of almost 100 percent of the U.S. population,1 and they may be negatively affecting human health and development... A PBDE is a man-made--anthropogenic--chemical, and they are produced by companies throughout the world and then sold to manufacturers of certain products that require flame retardants. So as you have increasing temperatures with fire, what happens is that the bond that keeps the bromine to the molecule breaks; it decomposes and releases bromine to the surrounding environment and to the atmosphere. And bromine is a very effective scavenger of free radicals. So by scavenging these free radicals, you're basically reducing the potential of the fire to propagate, so it basically smolders out. And so that's how these PBDEs, when they're present in such products as foam in your furniture or in your plastic for your electronics, helps to reduce their inherent flammability.
[Read more stories about: flame retardants, health impacts]

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We 'Docs kind of fancy ourselves "scavengers of free radicals."

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