Commonly used flame retardant being studied

Scientists look at potential impact on reproductive health
Montreal Children’s Hospital Research Institute’s Dr. Cindy Goodyer is leading a multidisciplinary research team from five Canadian universities and Health Canada that is studying the potential toxic effects of a common household chemical. She and her team of eighteen co-investigators will look at the potential impact of brominated flame retardants, or BFRs, on the developing reproductive systems and fertility in parallel animal and human models.
BFRs are used in many household consumer products, such as cushions and wiring, to prevent them from catching fire too rapidly. Over 80% of exposure to BFRs is due to contaminated dust in our living spaces, with the remainder coming from food.  A number of animal studies, testing relatively high levels of BFRs, have reported effects on both male and female reproductive systems, but to date there have been few scientific investigations to determine if BFRs are having a negative impact on human health.
In a recent interview with The Montreal Gazette, Dr. Goodyer said, “The idea is that there may be subtle effects of this chronic exposure to brominated flame retardants, but we don’t have sufficient data to say yea or nay in humans.” The team is also exploring ethical, legal and social issues surrounding BFRs since they may pose a potential health risk not only to individuals but also to future generations. The five-year study is being funded by the Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
To learn more about this study contact:
Dr. Cindy Goodyer
Research Institute – MUHC