Though the fight in America is not yet won, there is very positive news for the people there. Since the ban on PBDEs, taking effect in 2006 the levels of PBDEs in the breast milk of women in the Bay Area has dropped by nearly 40%.
“The science of biomonitoring – measuring the chemical pollution in people – produces a seemingly unbroken stream of horror stories, with study after study reporting a new toxic threat building up in our bodies. So when a study shows declining levels of toxic chemicals in people, it’s good news – and encouraging proof that citizen action against hazardous chemicals works.
In 2002, California state scientists tested the breast milk of Bay Area women and made a shocking finding: Levels of a class of industrial chemicals that can permanently harm the nervous system and development of fetuses and infants were the highest ever measured in the world – up to 60 times higher than in European women.
The chemicals were polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs, used as fire retardants primarily in furniture and electronics. The extremely high levels in Bay Area women were due to of California’s strict fire-resistance standards for upholstery, making the state the heaviest user of the type of PBDEs most likely to build up in people, animals and the environment.
California scientists who conducted a follow-up study to assess the effect of the ban last month reported that levels of PBDEs in the breast milk of Bay Area women have dropped by almost 40 percent.
“This is good news for parents and children,” Barbara Lee, director of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, said in a news release. “It shows that by taking action on harmful chemicals in consumer products we can reduce our uptake of those chemicals and better protect public health.” ”
Document written by – Bill Walker, Investigations Editor WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2, 2016