California Girls’ Body Burden of Dangerous Flame Retardants

Julie Silas | March 12, 2010 | Newsletter

A study recently released in Environmental Research shows high levels of brominated flame retardants (PBDEs) in 6-8 year-old girls from California. The study authors speculated that "the higher PBDE levels in girls from California may reflect differences in fire regulation and safety codes." Living and working in California, I have had the chance to partner with health care systems and architects and designers who are constantly coming up against the state's stringent fire regulations and safety codes. At first blush, it appears California's higher standards are there to protect our kids and patients and anyone else living or working in a building in the Golden State. Yet, a quick glance at PBDEs in the Pharos Chemical and Material Library shows that these brominated flame retardants are very high chemicals of concern. While it is only the authors' speculation, I will continue to encourage folks I consult with (both professionally and personally), to use the Pharos Project to avoid PBDEs when they purchase building products. After all, my own daughter is an eight-year-old California Girl!